Brooklyn Nets Summer League: Cam Thomas is Clutch in Win Over Washington

With pair of 3-pointers, rookie forces second OT, then wins it, 84-81

Cam Thomas took his impressive start at NBA Summer League to an entirely different level on Thursday afternoon.

The Brooklyn Nets rookie forced a sudden death second overtime with a 3-pointer, then won it with another to finish with 31 points as the Nets beat the Washington Wizards, 84-81.

“You can see him step by step by step and a big jump,” said Brooklyn Summer League coach Jordan Ott. “Unbelievable down the stretch the shots he hit. He just, basically, iso situation was able to get to a spot even the last one he lost the wall was able to be aware enough. I think he looked at the clock on the far end to be smart enough to look at the clock and for him to know he didn't have much time and get it off."

The Nets were down five in the first overtime before closing within three with possession of the ball. With 6.1 seconds left, Thomas connected for the 3-pointer that forced a second overtime, which in Summer League is sudden death — first basket wins.

With the floor spread, Thomas sized things up from the top of the key but lost the ball. He recovered it going toward halfcourt with his back to the basket, spun around, and hit a running jumper off one leg — beating the shot clock buzzer to add a little extra to the degree of difficulty — and deliver the win.

“Coach drew up the first play, it was a great play,” said Thomas. “Drew it up for me to get it. It was supposed to be a catch and shoot because we expected them to foul. They didn’t foul so it was basically a one-on-one again. Had the one-on-one, did the step-back, my go-to move. It went in. For the winning basket it was just iso, like Dyckman, just one-on-one, beat your man. I lost the ball. I seen the clock, I seen it was at :02.25 when I looked at it, so I was like, I’ve gotta hurry up and get a shot off. I went to shot that I always make and I always work on, the one-legged three. As soon as it left my hands I knew it was good.”

Kessler Edwards had 14 points and nine rebounds, Kaiser Gates had nine points and 10 rebounds, and Day’Ron Sharpe had 12 rebounds for Brooklyn.

The Nets put together a 9-0 run to take a 67-60 lead with four minutes remaining in regulation. With Brooklyn up 69-68, Thomas converted a three-point play on an elbow jumper, and with the Wizards back within one, his two free throws put the Nets up three before Washington tied the game at 74.

Thomas’ shot to win the game at the end of regulation missed the mark, but the next two big shots didn’t. After opening with 19 points on Monday and then going for 22 on Wednesday, the 27th overall pick is averaging 24.0 points through three Summer League games.

“I’m just trying to learn on the fly,” said Thomas. “I’m basically learning on the job really because we only had three or four practices, two live days going against each other five-on-five. I’m basically learning on the job really. I think I’m doing real good. My progress has been great. I’ve been getting better game to game, getting in a better feel for the game, better feel for the pace. I’ve gotta figure how the refs are gonna call the games because we was getting hammered out there. I’ve gotta learn on the fly. Plus you only get that by playing games. I think I’m doing real well.”

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