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Cam Thomas continues to shine even as Nets drop second straight game

BROOKLYN — It’s Cam Thomas’ world and everybody else is simply dwelling in it. That’s the way in which it has appeared the final three video games for the Nets’ guard after he recorded his third straight 40-plus game and made a little bit of NBA and franchise historical past. 

The one factor that spoiled the night time for Thomas was the truth that the Nets dropped their second straight game in a 116-112 loss to the Phoenix Suns. His 43-point effort wasn’t sufficient to will the Nets to a win, even as he put up 13 factors within the closing 1:30 of the game to give Brooklyn hope for a last-second comeback. 

Nonetheless, Thomas has been taking part in at a degree that wasn’t anticipated from the 21-year-old guard. Tuesday’s effort noticed him change into the youngest participant in NBA historical past to rating 40-plus factors in three consecutive video games and the primary in NBA franchise historical past to achieve this. 

“That’s really surreal. You know, I’m just glad to have my name in history books being this young,” Thomas mentioned. “Obviously, I rather have the win ’cause it sounds better when you have these 40-point games with the two wins than we lost. But it’s just good to have my name in history, you know? I’m still gonna embrace it. You know, me being young, you still want to embrace your accolades. And just be proud of yourself. Just be proud of what hard work you put in, so that’s really the main thing.”

Thomas’ breakout stretch since Kyrie Irving requested a commerce from the Nets and subsequently was traded Sunday has been eye-opening for the Nets. He has achieved his greatest impression of Irving since, turning into the linchpin of the offense whereas seeing his minutes considerably improve. 

He was on the ground for almost 40 minutes on Tuesday after taking part in  38:35 the night time earlier than and scoring a career-best 47 factors. And Thomas was close to excellent from the free throw line going 18-for-20.

Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas (24) shoots a three-point basket previous Phoenix Suns middle Deandre Ayton (22) and ahead Torrey Craig through the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in New York.AP Picture/Mary Altaffer

That has pretty raised the query of the place Thomas suits within the rotation going ahead. 

“It’s a great question. I think he has definitely opened a lot of eyes,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn mentioned. “What the rotations look like going forward, we’ll see when we get everyone. But he is a guy, like I said, from the beginning, we have not waned in our belief in what Cam can do in helping us win. When we get our full roster together, we’ll put the pieces together and see where he fits in that in that rotation.”

Thomas’ stretch has been made all that extra spectacular by the truth that it wasn’t too way back he was restricted in his taking part in time and caught on the bench. In his first 34 video games of the 12 months, Thomas averaged 14.1 minutes and simply 7.4 factors together with 17 DNPs.

The 21-year-old mentioned that regardless of being out and in of the rotation his work ethic by no means modified and he was in a position to battle via the adversity.

“It’s real hard because just being a competitor, you want to be in the game. You want to play,” Thomas mentioned. “So when in my case, you know, when the coaches keep telling you, ‘stay ready,’ you’re like, okay. But then you get frustrated after a while because you like I’m staying ready. I’m ready. I’m ready to hoop, but then you just got to do your part. Do your role and when your number’s called, be ready. I feel that’s what I’ve been doing, just staying ready for the moment honestly.”

Whereas Thomas’ latest success could have caught some off guard, there’s one one who had an perception to the potential that Thomas had.

Prior to Tuesday’s loss, newly acquired Internet Dorian Finney-Smith recalled Thomas’ game again after they have been youngsters. 

“Man, he’s been hooping. He’s been hooping. I remember Cam when we was about 10, just seeing him work out, know all the work he done put in. He’s always been a bucket,” Finney-Smith mentioned. “Just gotta get him to talk a little bit more. But he’s always been a bucket. So I’m excited to be out there with him.” 

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