East Notes: Nets, Mikal Bridges, Magic, Raptors, RJ Barrett


The Nets allowed a 42-point performance from forward Mikal Bridges to fall flat, dropping a home game to the Trail Blazers in overtime on Sunday.Mikal Bridges

“Very [frustrating],” said forward Cam Johnson, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “We definitely should have won. It’s frustrating.”

The Nets have left for Paris, where they will face the Cavaliers on Thursday.

“We just finally got one and wanted to get a little streak going. We had an opportunity at home against a team coming on a road trip, so yeah, it sucks,” Bridges said of the loss to the Blazers, via Lewis. “You just want to win this one bad. But … just trying to get a streak going. But we’ve got another game coming up, just got to go get that one.”

  • It remains to be seen how long center Day’Ron Sharpe will be out with a knee injury suffered Sunday. He is not joining the Nets on their Paris trip, per Lewis.


Center Paolo Banchero has been particularly good lately, averaging 32.3 points over the last six games.

“He’s a winner. He’s going to find a way to help the team win,” coach Jamahl Mosley told reporters of Banchero. “This young man is growing more each game.”

  • Guard Markelle Fultz returned in Orlando’s win over the Hawks on Sunday, after missing the previous 27 games with a knee injury. The former No. 1 overall pick compiled four assists in 10 minutes but did not score. “We’re more worried about the long haul here,” Fultz said. “We got a win so I couldn’t be happier.”


It took guard/forward RJ Barrett all of four games with the Raptors to score a season-high 37 points. That happened in Sunday’s blowout road win over the Warriors.

“I’m trying to play the right way and help my teammates,” Barrett said. “A lot of learning going on. I’m still learning the defensive system, trying to get better at that every day watching film. But I’m just trying to help, that’s all I’m trying to do.”

Barrett made 11 of his 14 shots and finished 13-of-20 shooting overall. He was acquired by his hometown Raptors in a New Year’s Day trade that sent OG Anunoby to the Knicks.

“I thought RJ was great today,” coach Darko Rajakovic said. “Obviously he scored a lot but I was really proud of his playmaking. He had six assists, he played unselfishly, he was trying to make the right plays every time down the court and also I really liked the force he was attacking the rim. That’s something that we talked about.”

  • Power forward Chris Boucher, formerly of the Warriors, came off the bench to score 17 points and grab nine rebounds. The 2019 Finals rematch was never close, with the Raptors jumping out to a 7-0 lead and keeping their foot on the gas.

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