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Cam Thomas Gives Brooklyn Nets a Boost in Win Over Cleveland

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So, who’s really winning this running shootaround game between Cam Thomas and Kevin Durant?

The rookie guard was claiming the upper ground against the man with the fourth-highest scoring average in NBA history, who wasn’t having it.

“He was lying for sure,” said Durant. “I definitely beat him 13 to 5. And those five shots that he made I turned my back and was like, ‘go ahead.’”

What’s not in dispute is that when it counted on Monday night in Cleveland, Thomas delivered for Brooklyn. The 20-year-old had 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including 2-of-3 3-pointers, in Brooklyn’s 117-112 win.

It was the latest step forward for Thomas, who saw mostly end-of-game playing time over the season’s first month before starting to get some real rotation minutes over the last week as the shorthanded Nets looked for reinforcements following injuries to Joe Harris and others.

“Without Joe, we were down a shooter, a spacer,” said Nets head coach Steve Nash. “We have to go with some different lineups and different guys. Cam was great. He stepped up with confidence to take shots. I think he is a kid who we all love and think has a bright future, but sometimes these early stages of the season you’re in tight games. It’s difficult, just some of the mistakes that are inevitable with these young guys. But tonight he really hung in there. Made some big shots for us and I thought was really aware defensively. I was proud of him tonight.”

“I got in, knew the game plan, knew what we had to do,” said Thomas. “I got in, I got great looks, wide-open looks. I feel like those are really good for me, coming in right away and getting wide-open looks, and I made the most of ‘em. So when KD or James (Harden) kick it to me, you’ve gotta knock it down when you’re wide open, and I think I did that tonight. So a great building block for me.”

Thomas made an impact after entering the game with 5:24 to go in the third quarter, with the Nets having cut Cleveland’s 12-point lead to seven. Brooklyn was still down nine, trailing 80-71, when Thomas connected on a 3-pointer with 2:32 to go in the quarter. He followed up with a three-point play after banking in a mid-range jumper, bringing the Nets within one, then put Brooklyn up 84-82 going into the fourth quarter with a 15-foot jumper with five seconds left in the quarter.

“He gave us the boost we needed you know? Somebody that can score off the dribble, off the catch like that,” said Durant. “When a team, young team like this, they’re going to send all the resources at James and myself, so they’re playing super-physical and super-tight to me and they’re gonna bring over some help when I drive, so guys are gonna be open and Cam was…they left him open. I guess he wasn’t on the scouting report. But they left him open and he made plays. In transition he got out and tied the game for us, and then that and-one, it was huge for us. And I think that pushed us over the top.”

Thomas was back with Brooklyn after a quick weekend detour in which he scored 46 points for the Long Island Nets in their 114-110 NBA G League win over Raptors 905. Thomas played 39 minutes, shooting 17-of-32, and had seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals. It was his second game for Long Island, having scored 33 points in the season-opener.

So even with the G League season underway, Thomas has been spending most of his time with Brooklyn, even as playing time was limited until recently. There’s value in the time spent around players like Harden and Durant, no matter what the score is in a pick-up game.

“We just talk the game,” said Durant. “I wouldn’t call it mentoring. We’re just exchanging information. He’s seeing my game from a different vantage point coming off the bench, I’m seeing his game, so we just exchange information and go over stuff that we see and try to sharpen our skills and our tools and our IQ as mental basketball players first. It’s good to see a young dude like Cam who is into it like that. You can tell he’s a student. We need him to build on this. We don’t need him to be comfortable because he had a little 11-point game, because he made a couple shots. I’m always on him, and he’s always on me, too, but I’m going to be on him even more now.”



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3 Moves the Brooklyn Nets Need to Consider to Survive Kevin Durant’s Injury

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With a 114–107 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on MLK Day, the Brooklyn Nets are 0–1 since Kevin Durant sprained his left knee. The injury will keep the former MVP sidelined past the Feb. 10 NBA trade deadline. Should Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks consider a move to help the Nets survive Durant’s absence?

The club is already $35.3 million over the luxury tax line. While Brooklyn isn’t paying the repeater penalty in 2021–22, it is already looking at a $110.4 million luxury tax bill. That doesn’t necessarily preclude the Nets from making a deal. However, it does make it a pricey consideration.





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NBA Rumors: James Harden Could Leave The Brooklyn Nets This Summer

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James Harden Breaks Record For Most Three-Pointers Missed In NBA History

James Harden is one of the best point guards in the league, and there is no doubt that he is crucial to the way the Brooklyn Nets offense operates, as he is the floor general for the team. Currently, James Harden is averaging 22.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, and 10.0 APG for the team.



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Maine Nordiques lose another goalie duel against New Jersey Titans

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The Maine Nordiques and the New Jersey Titans had a goaltending battle for the second straight night.

The Titans came out on top again Saturday with a 3-0 win over the Nordiques in an NAHL East Division contest at Middletown Ice World Arena in Middletown, New Jersey.

Andrew Takacs made 28 saves for the win and Gus Holt stopped 35 shots in the loss.

“(The Titans) weren’t able to score directly on (Holt),” Maine Nordiques coach Matt Pinchevsky said. “They had to get (the puck) to bounce off bodies and skates, things like that. I chose to pull the goaltender and we had a good (chance) at their net, but they were able to counter and sail (the puck) into the empty net.”

Friday night, the Titans defeated the Nordiques 3-1.

Eric Charpentier scored his first goal of the year to give the Titans a 1-0 lead midway through the second period. Former Twin City Thunder player Levente Keresztes had an assist on the goal.

The Titans struck on the power play in the middle of the third period with Chris Carroll finding the back of the net. Brendan Dumas and Tommy Bannister each collected their 26th assists of the season on the goal.

“We have to make sure we have sticks checked out front and try to get in the way of those shots,” Pinchevsky said. “We have the goaltending to stop them, but they found the back of the net with two unlucky bounces.”

David Postma scored an empty-net goal in the final minute of the game.

The Nordiques host the Johnstown Tomahawks on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. both nights at The Colisee.

“We know what exactly to work on as we prepare for Johnstown and that’s producing, scoring goals,” Pinchevsky said. “We didn’t have the production down here (in New Jersey), but we saw a lot of great things defensively, as far as a compete level and focus, our drive and determination to be hard to play against at all times.”


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