It’s only Summer League. It’s only Summer League, but after yet another spectacular game by Cam Thomas, it’s hard not to excited.
For the third straight game, the 19-year-old from Chesapeake, Va., led the Summer League Nets to a win, this time scoring 36 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Nets to a 104-100 win and a 3-1 record.
This time, there was no buzzer beater, just a steady stream of buckets from the 27th pick in the Draft.
“Just win, that’s my mindset,” Thomas said at game’s end. “I just want to win the game. My teammates and coaches trust in me to close out the games. ... So really, it’s just confidence...
“Confidence, that’s my best friend right there.” he added.
“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.”
The final numbers proved that out. Thomas went 11-of-25 (44 percent) overall, including 3-of-6 from deep, and 11-of-11 from the line. He scored 22 in the second half, 14 in the fourth. With the 36 points and one game left Tuesday, Thomas is the Summer League’s high scorer at 27.0 per game. Not just the rookie class. The entire league. It was also the single highest point total for a Las Vegas Summer League game since 2018.
Then, there’s this from Mike Scotto...
Top-4 rookie scorers in NBA Summer League history who’ve played multiple games according to @RealGM are— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) August 16, 2021
1. Jerryd Bayless 29.8 PPG
2. Donovan Mitchell 28 PPG
3. Cam Thomas 27 PPG
4. Damian Lilliard 26.5 PPG
Learn more about @24_camthomas on @hoopshype.https://t.co/2WAb1jXxFH
Beyond leading the league in scoring, he also leads Vegas with an average of 14.3 points in the fourth quarter, is third in trips to the line at 9.8.
More importantly, he once again met the moment, facing off against Josh Primo, the Spurs’ No. 12 pick.
With Brooklyn trailing 94-91 with less that two minutes to go in the fourth, it was time once again for the Cam Show. Thomas scored nine straight points and 13 of their final 15. The scoring was varied. He hit a runner in the lane, then two free throws with 1:19 left 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. The rest was just winding down the clock. Final score: 104-100.
“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.
Things didn’t look good early on as Brooklyn went down 16.
“We started out slow,” Thomas said. “We had to get stops and that helped us get the victory.”
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, Thomas’ fellow first rounder, had 10 points and five rebounds. Primo, the youngest player in the Draft, finished with 21 for San Antonio.
“He’s a guy that stays poised throughout the game; never gets too high and never gets low,” said Bowden of his teammate. “He stays the same. He’s a problem, and it’s fun to watch him play, and score the ball. He has a bright future ahead of him.”
And if indeed that future work out, Thomas could be a bargain. His rookie contract calls for him to paid $10.45 million over the next four years, $2.04 million this season.
The Nets conclude their summer league schedule vs the Raptors at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV.
- Box Score: Brooklyn Nets 104, San Antonio Spurs 100 - NBA.com
- Game Report: Brooklyn Nets 104, San Antonio Spurs 100 (with Video) - NBA.com
- Cam Thomas scores 36 points, Nets beat Spurs 104-100 - AP
- BROOKLYN NETS SUMMER LEAGUE: CAM THOMAS SHOOTS NETS OVER SPURS - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- The legend of Cam Thomas grows in duel vs. Josh Primo: “He made big shot after big shot.” - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Here are 5 standouts from the Nets’ Summer League team you should be paying attention to - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Nets rookie Cam Thomas lighting it up after controversial draft fall - Brian Lewis - New York Post