Clippers spoil Cam Thomas' massive night, Josh Green breaks out for the Mavericks
Brooklyn Nets spark plug Cam Thomas almost outdueled the Los Angeles Clippers' All-Star duo by himself before ultimately going down 124-116 on Monday.
Thomas, 21, set a new career-high on Saturday with 44 points in a win against the Washington Wizards, and he eclipsed that figure 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 back-to-back games.
The second-year guard hit seven of his 11 three-pointers after going four-of-five against Washington, capitalising on the increased opportunity created by the departure of Kyrie Irving in a trade to the Dallas Mavericks.
Thomas scored more than double his closest team-mate – Edmond Sumner with 23 points – but the combination of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George ended up pulling it 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 eight-of-17.
George was slightly better with 29 points on 10-of-20 shooting, and center Ivica Zubac was important with 19 points (six-of-nine), 12 rebounds and three steals.
The win was the Clippers' eighth from their past 10 games, improving their record to 31-26 and strengthening their grip on the Western Conference's fourth seed. The Nets sit fourth in the East at 32-21.
Mavericks get a taste of the future
Third-year guard Josh Green and rookie Jaden Hardy appear poised to assume expanded roles after 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 being selected 18th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, and with the Mavericks shipping away two players for Irving, there are minutes up for grabs.
He shot 10-of-17 from the field as he blew past his previous career-high of 23 early in the last period, while Hardy also made his case for more playing time as he matched Green's 29 points (eight-of-12) for a new career-high of his own. Green finished with a gaudy plus/minus of plus 39 in 37 minutes, while Hardy was plus 23 in 26 minutes.
It was reported by The Athletic that Green and Hardy were off-limits in the Irving discussions, and they are justifying that stance right away as the keys to Dallas' first win this season without Luka Doncic in the line-up.
Klay winds back the clock
Chase Center fans were treated to a vintage 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 hit seven of his nine three-point attempts in the first half, before going on to finish 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 has made at least 12 three-pointers in a single game, and Thompson now joins team-mate Stephen Curry as the only players to accomplish it twice. Thompson has hit at least 10 threes on eight occasions, and he owns the single-game record as the only player to make 14.