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Nets draft picks shine as Brooklyn defeats Milwaukee in Summer League 97-91

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2021 Las Vegas Summer League - Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

Cam Thomas put on an offensive show in the fourth quarter and Day’Ron Sharpe showed why he was of the NCAA’s top rebounders last season as the Nets beat the Bucks, 97-91, in the NBA Summer League Wednesday.

Thomas, the 6’4” shooting guard taken with the 27th pick, exploded in the final quarter, scoring nine points in the last three minutes, including a three from the wing with 1:13 left to put the Nets up by five.

In two games, the loss to Memphis on Monday and the win Wednesday, Thomas has scored 26 points, shooting 8-of-13 overall and 3-of-7 from deep. He’s now averaging 20.5 points a game, one of the top numbers for his draft class in Las Vegas.

Thomas was asked post-game about his late game heroics...

“That’s just what ball players do. It’s crunch time, so I had to make plays for my team to win. I knew it was time for me to turn it up a notch,” deadpanned Thomas. “My teammates know what I do. Coach knows what I do.”

Indeed, in his post-game availability, Jordan Ott, the Nets assistant who’s running the Summer League team, said, “For a 19-year-old to hit a big shot in a big game is pretty impressive.”

The LSU product also showed some playmaking ability, handing out four assists. That’s one more than he recorded in any of his 19 games for the Tigers this past season...

He was one of five Nets in double figures. In addition to Thomas, Quinndary Weatherspoon had 15 points, his Mississippi State teammate Reggie Perry 13, Day’ron Sharpe 11, and David Duke Jr. 10.

Sharpe, who played 17 minutes after playing 14 vs. the Grizz, admitted his conditioning was not what he’d like — “I haven’t played since March.” But it was hard to tell from his production. Sharpe finished with eight rebounds, six offensive, and shot 5-of-7 from the field. The 29th pick also picked up two blocks.

“Even if I’m a long way from it, I’m gonna try to chase the ball down,” said Sharpe post-game. “Guys don’t want to deal with that, deal with a guy that’s running after the ball and is nowhere near them. I’m just trying to chase them.”

Sharpe added, “The other guys are gonna get tired of boxing you out sooner or later. So if I keep going hard 24/7, sooner or later somebody’s gonna slip up...”

Ott had his own way of describing his near seven-footer.

“Day’Ron was a monster — He’s such a big part of what we’re doing,” said Ott.

“From day one, his workout in the draft workout to be honest, you could see it and then every day in practice we saw this,” he added. “So it’s not a one-day thing. And his motor. So it’s a little bit of both. Offensive and defensive physicality but also his motor to continuously go get it. We made a big emphasis of offensive rebounding here in Summer League because we knew kind of our roster makeup but it’s also to highlight some of his skillset.”

In addition to the two first rounders, the undrafted Duke had another solid game, adding nine rebounds to his 10 points including this shot...

Although a 6’5” point guard at Providence, Duke has been slotted in the small forward position with Brooklyn.