Brooklyn Nets spark plug Cam Thomas nearly outplayed the All-Star duo of the Los Angeles Clippers on his own before falling 124-116 on Monday.
Thomas, 21, set a new career high Saturday with 44 points in a win against the Washington Wizards, and eclipsed that tally with 47 on 15-of-29 shooting against the Clippers.
In doing so, he became the youngest player since LeBron James to reach 40 points in consecutive games.
The second-year guard made seven of his 11 3-pointers after going four of five against Washington, capitalizing on the biggest opportunity created by the departure of Kyrie Irving in a trade to the Dallas Mavericks.
Thomas scored more than twice his closest teammate Edmond Sumner’s 23 points, but the combination of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George ended up pulling him out down the stretch.
The Clippers trailed 107-99 with six minutes remaining, before closing the game on a 25-9 run, including nine of Leonard’s 24 points. The two-time NBA Finals MVP added six assists and four rebounds while shooting 8-for-17.
George was slightly better with 29 points on 10-of-20 shooting, and center Ivica Zubac was important with 19 points (6-of-9), 12 rebounds and three steals.
The victory was the Clippers’ eighth in their last 10 games, improving their record to 31-26 and strengthening their grip on the fourth seed in the Western Conference. The Nets are fourth in the East with a 32-21 mark.
Mavericks taste the future
Third-year guard Josh Green and rookie Jaden Hardy appear poised to take on expanded roles after they both set new career-highs with 29 points in the Dallas Mavericks’ 124-111 road win against the Utah Jazz.
Green, 22, has been on an upward trajectory since he was selected 18th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, and with the Mavericks releasing two players for Irving, minutes are on the line.
He shot 10 of 17 from the field and surpassed his previous career high of 23 early in the fourth period, while Hardy also defended more playing time by matching Green’s 29 points (eight of 12) for a new career of his. own career. Green finished with an eye-catching plus/minus of plus 39 in 37 minutes, while Hardy was plus 23 in 26 minutes.
The Athletic reported that Green and Hardy were off limits in the Irving discussions, and they are immediately justifying that stance as the key to Dallas’ first win this season without Luka Doncic in the lineup.
Klay rolls back the clock
Fans at the Chase Center were treated to a classic Klay Thompson performance as the Golden State Warriors sharpshooter put together a 27-point first half during a 141-114 demolition of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Thompson shot 10 of 14 from the field and made seven of his nine 3-point attempts in the first half, before finishing with 42 points on 15 of 22 shooting, including 12 of 16 from long range. .
It was only the seventh time in NBA history that a player had made at least 12 3-pointers in a single game, and Thompson now joins teammate Stephen Curry as the only players to do so twice. Thompson has made at least 10 3-pointers eight times, and holds the single-game record as the only player to make 14.