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Adonis Thomas with monster game as Armor wins again

Chris Marion Photography

To say Adonis Thomas is fast developing would be an understatement.

The 20-year-old, signed by the Nets so he could be cut and sent to Springfield, filled the stat sheet Monday as the Armor beat the Bakersfield Jam. Thomas, a 6'7" forward who models his game to Joe Johnson, finished with 33 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and four steals in 48 minutes. Thomas helped the Armor come back from a big deficit, then took over and won going away, 116-109.  It was the Armor's fifth win in six games.  Over that stretch, Thomas is averaging 23.8 per game.

Darius Johnson-Odom, who's been the other part of the Armor's winning 1-2 punch, had 26 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.  Other Nets in double figures included Willie Reed, who had 14 and eight, and Jeff Foote, with 10 and eight.  Although Thomas and DJO have played well lately, the Nets are unlikely to call them up until after after the trade deadline as they try to maintain some flexibility.

Thomas started slow, missing his first four shots and Springfield struggled early. He then hit 12-of-22 shots from that point on.

Bakersfield’s defense was in full force in the first quarter as the Armor were held to just 26 points, their lowest scoring first quarter since January 24 and their second straight game facing a deficit to start the second. The Jam took advantage of seven Springfield fouls, registering 14 free throws en route to a 33-26 edge after 12 minutes.

The Armor’s deficit grew as large as 15 in the second quarter as the Jam ended the first half holding Springfield to 36 percent shooting from the field. Bakersfield closed the half outscoring Springfield by 10 through the final six minutes after the Armor closed the gap to four, grabbing a 66-52 edge heading into the break.

Jam forward Damion James helped Bakersfield to the 14-point advantage with 20 first-half points, while Atlanta Hawks assignee Jared Cunningham registered 14 over the first 24 minutes. The Jam shot 92 percent from the charity stripe, connecting on 23-of-25 attempts.

Thomas, who was named to the 2014 NBA D-League Boost Mobile Three-Point Contest earlier in the day, netted 12 points before the break, while Reed logged eight in his first start since January 9. The Armor received six points from Johnson-Odom and nine from Justin Johnson off the bench, but both were whistled for three fouls apiece prior to intermission.

Just 55 seconds into the third, Springfield found itself in a 16-point deficit, but an 8-0 run in less than a minute with under four to play in the period brought the Armor within three at 83-80. Springfield continued to stare the three-point deficit in the face heading into the fourth as the Armor brought the tally to 90-87 entering the final frame. Bakersfield head coach Will Voigt was ejected with less than 20 seconds left in the period after being issued his second technical foul of the game.

The rally carried over into the fourth quarter as Springfield continued its comeback, eventually taking the lead with just over seven minutes to play. The Armor pushed its edge as high as six at 108-102 after Johnson-Odom rattled off eight of the Springfield’s 12 points over a three-minute span. The Jam then lost James Nunnally due to a flagrant type two foul with three minutes left, exiting the game with 19 points.

The Armor held on down the final stretch for the 116-109 victory, completing the 16-point second-half comeback. Thomas finished with a game-high 33 points, 21 coming in the second half, while Johnson-Odom added 26 including a few clutch baskets in the waning moments. Thomas logged a career-best 15 rebounds to go along with his career-high point total for his first double-double of the season. 

Springfield shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and 89 percent from the foul line, including a perfect 8-for-8 from Johnson-Odom.