Brooklyn Nets Summer League: Cam Thomas Shoots Nets Over Spurs
Rookie scores 36 points in 104-100 win with big shots down the stretch
Cam Thomas continued to put on a show at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, pouring in 36 points to lift the Brooklyn Nets to a 104-100 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
After opening Summer League with 19 points a week ago, Thomas has elevated his production in each of Brooklyn’s four games. He’s posted back-to-back 30-point games and Brooklyn’s first-round draft pick is now averaging 27.0 points.
“He continued to surprise us,” said Nets Summer League coach Jordan Ott. “This is a great experience for the whole group, great experience for Cam to be in so many close games even in Summer League. He has to make the decisions down the stretch. Basically put the ball in his hands. He made big shot after big shot. And then his ability to get fouled. Eleven free throws again tonight. He has a knack. He’s very crafty as I’ve said before. He has a way to get to the free throw line when maybe he doesn’t have a ton of space or a good look he’s able to get to the free throw line.”
Thomas carried the Nets to the finish with nine straight points and 13 of their final 15. With Brooklyn trailing 94-91 with under two minutes to go, Thomas dropped in a runner in the lane and then hit two free throws with 1:19 remaining to put the Nets up 95-94. His step-back 3-pointer with 37.7 seconds left gave Brooklyn a 98-94 lead, and he followed with two free throws with 18.6 seconds left for a 100-94 lead.
“At the end of game, he’s shooting it,” said Ott. “We understand that. We love that he’s taking those shots. That’s how every NBA game is. At the end of game, your best players take the shots and they’ve gotta make shots. He did it again.”
Alize Johnson had 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Nets, while Jordan Bowden scored 14 points and Marcus Zegarowski had 12. Day’Ron Sharpe had 10 points and five rebounds.
The Nets trailed by 16 points in the first quarter before getting back to within five at halftime as Thomas scored 10 points in the final 3:07 of the half in a sign of things to come. Late in the third quarter, Bowden scored six of eight Brooklyn points with his jumper putting the Nets up 73-72 for their first lead of the game. Brooklyn took a 77-76 lead in to the fourth quarter and was up 91-88 after Thomas hit a pull-up jumper with 3:36 to go.
“We just said keep chipping away,” said Ott. “It’s gonna come back. We thought we forced pretty tough shots in that stretch at the end of the first into halftime. Some of those midrange shots, they would go in at times, and we know the numbers that sometimes they don’t go in especially with great contests. And then just offensively, some days you can’t throw it in the ocean. And again, that was today, but we were able to get on the glass, think it was 16 offensive rebounds, 26 second-chance points. That’s something we’ve preached since our opening meeting here, about effort, and we’re gonna crash the glass and get back in transition. Hats off to our guys. Really happy. Proud of the group. We continue to get better.”
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