Nets’ Cam Thomas Sends Strong Message on LeBron James After Career Night

Cam Thomas, Brooklyn Nets

Getty Cam Thomas #24 of the Brooklyn Nets.

Who will ultimately be the biggest beneficiary of the Brooklyn Nets (32-21) blockbuster trade sending the mercurial Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, and draft picks? It just might be second-year guard Cam Thomas following the second straight 40-point performance for the LSU product.

One night after the former 27th-overall pick sparked a comeback win over the Washington Wizards with a career-high 44 points, he set a new career-best mark with 47 points albeit in a 124-116 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

He became the second-youngest person (21 years, 117 days) to record back-to-back 40-point games in NBA history.

The youngest was none other than LeBron James.

“For real? That’s great company,” Thomas said via SportsNet New York’s Twitter feed after learning of his newfound place in league history. “I’m glad to have my name mentioned with that guy…You know, LeBron, he about to break the all-time scoring record in like two games or one game, whatever he’s about to do. I’m just glad to have my name mentioned with him this young. Hope I can keep it going, keep having my name mentioned with those guys.”

Interestingly, the loss dropped the Nets down to fifth in the Eastern Conference behind the Cavaliers with whom James set the record in 2006.

Thomas’ night still drew lofty praise on social media.

The 6-foot-4 guard added in four rebounds and three assists (with four turnovers) but his night was defined by scoring as he went 7-for-11 from downtown. He tried to rally late with 11 fourth-quarter points but he also went 4-for-10 from the floor and turned the ball over twice in the frame.

There was only one thing that Thomas said could have made the accomplishment better.

“I’m a Kobe [Bryant] guy…If you would have said Kobe I would have been more excited,” he said with a “rare” smile. “Nah, I’m just playing.”

For what it’s worth, this means Thomas got one-up on his favorite player but, perhaps even more importantly for the impressive albeit raw youngster, he got to enjoy another night with a significant role.

Kyrie Irving Trade Could Change Cam Thomas’ Tune

“I know who I am, and I know what I can do on the court,” Thomas previously said to Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports pf not seeing consistent minutes. “I just keep working all the time and stay confident, you know? My opportunity will come around … and when that comes, I’ll be ready for it. So just staying confident and staying ready for it.”

This was the 13th time that Thomas has logged at least 20 minutes in a game this season. He has also now seen action in at least five straight games for just the third time.

Thomas alluded to still finding a feel for the game due to the inconsistent playing time.

Cam Thomas after the Nets' matchup against the ClippersCam Thomas became the second youngest player in NBA history with 40+ points in consecutive games. Subscribe for daily sports videos! Stream YES Network on the YES App: YES' social media pages: TikTok: YouTube: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

“Probably just learn from stuff like that,” he added. “I’m 21, not 30, I’m getting the reps.”

With Irving out of the picture, there might not be a better time for Thomas to prove his worth though he will still need to work to strengthen other parts of his game as he seeks to lock down that steady role.

Nic Claxton’s Breakout Continues

Thomas was not the only one to put on a career performance. Teammate and Nets breakout big man Nic Claxton also did his thing snagging a career-high 16 boards to go along with 15 points, three blocks, two assists, and one steal. He also shook off a major bugaboo and went 5-for-8 at the free-throw line, a trend over his last three contests (75%) for a career 52% shooter.

He appreciated what Thomas is doing in Irving’s absence even if he isn’t surprised.

The fourth-year man out of Georgia has been adamant that the Nets’ roster is good enough when Irving was still in tow.

Nights like this from Thomas certainly go a long way to reinforcing Claxton’s point about the Nets even as the front office continues to seek out further potential upgrades in the hopes of staying competitive in the cluttered-up Eastern Conference.

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