Not even a historic outing by Cam Thomas could save the Nets from yet another loss to the rival Knicks.

Thomas’ game-high 41 points were the most ever scored by a Net at the Garden, topping Bernard King’s effort on Feb. 24, 1979.

He hit 4 of 9 from deep, handed out six assists and the Nets squandered it.

“I’m just playing a game. It doesn’t matter where we play at, if I feel good, I’m gonna come in here and have a good game, play well, read the game the best I can,” Thomas said. “But no, I don’t care where I play. I’m gonna try to put on the best performance I can anywhere I play.

“Just knowing the bigs were in drop at first, so I knew if we set good screens I could get downhill and make a play. Then second half they made adjustments, being up more, trying to trap, so I knew if I could just snake it a little bit, I’ll have Nic [Claxton] on the lobs and then the opposite pass. … So just reading how the big was guarding me in the pick-and-roll. So I think I did a pretty good job of that.”

Before Friday night, the last five 22-year-old players to put up 40 at the Garden were Trae Young (2019), Nikola Jokic (2017), Kyrie Irving (2012), Shaquille O’Neal (1994) and Michael Jordan (1985). That is august company.

“CT is the goods,” Trendon Watford said.

In his first start of the season, Watford had 17 points and 13 rebounds playing at the point.


Starting point guard Dennis Schroder (right Achilles soreness), Cam Johnson (left big toe sprain), Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee effusion), Dennis Smith Jr. (right hip synovitis) and Day’Ron Sharpe (right wrist effusion) were all out.

Schroder, Finney-Smith and Smith Jr. have already been ruled out of Sunday’s finale at the 76ers, with Johnson’s status still up in the air.


Thomas and Watford, former LSU teammates, started together for the first time since the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament against Michigan.

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