With their season slipping away, the Brooklyn Nets desperately needed a shot in the arm against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. They got one in the form of Cam Thomas.

The Nets ran the Cavaliers off the floor during a 120-101 victory before a sellout crowd at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. In his second game back from an ankle injury, Thomas led all scorers with 29 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the field, 5-0f-7 from three and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line. The 22-year-old scored 12 straight points spanning the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth to put Brooklyn in control.

Kevin Ollie's challenge to Cam Thomas

However, the well-rounded nature of Cam Thomas' performance caught interim head coach Kevin Ollie's eye. The microwave-scoring guard also posted seven rebounds and five assists, consistently punishing Cleveland's defense for aggressive rotations early on.

“He had seven rebounds today, five assists, so it wasn’t just his scoring, he was contributing in other ways,” Ollie said. “That's just great to see, I want him to keep that up. We’re gonna keep challenging him in those ways. We want him to be a masterpiece on the offensive and defensive end, and he can do it. But we gotta keep challenging.”

“And it's not coming from our coaching staff; it's our players challenging him to be that special. Because we know what talent he is and we've gotta continue to harness that, continue to have his masterpiece come out. But he displayed it all tonight.”

After leading 52-51 at halftime, Ollie's squad outscored Cleveland 44-29 in the third, matching their most points in a quarter this season. Brooklyn shot 25-of-40 from the field (62.5 percent) and 13-of-22 from three (59.1 percent) in the second half.

Following the win, Thomas said he stepped outside his comfort zone to help spark the late surge.

“Communication,” he said when asked what the biggest difference was. “I was a big catalyst in the talking. Just talking more to the guys, getting them hyped up, and telling them what we need to do to get a win, because it's been a while. We’re in the stage of the season where we have to get wins, so everybody has to do something that they’re not used to. And for me, that's talking to the guys and getting them hyped up. So that really sparked us.”

Mikal Bridges snaps out of extended struggles

Mikal Bridges also came up big for Brooklyn, posting 25 points, five rebounds and five assists on 9-of-14 shooting from the field and 5-of-8 from three. The 27-year-old had struggled over his last 11 games entering the matchup, averaging 15.9 points on 37/30/69 shooting splits.

“It was good for Mikal to see some shots go in,” Ollie said. “Coming off the curls, playing off Cam, just taking the pressure off himself and stepping up. He puts so much work in, so I know those seeds that he's planted are gonna bloom and blossom at some point. He's meticulous in his work and it's gonna show… Struggle is part of this, and he's gonna grow through it.”

Dennis Schroder turned in another high-level performance, posting 17 points and eight assists on 7-of-11 shooting. Since joining Brooklyn in a trade for Spencer Dinwiddie at the deadline, the veteran point guard is averaging 14.7 points and 5.8 assists on 47 percent shooting over 14 appearances.

Schroder ranks second in the NBA in three-point percentage during that span (minimum four attempts per game), converting 49.3 percent of his attempts.

Nic Claxton got the better of former Nets teammate Jarrett Allen, posting 16 points and 10 rebounds on 7-of-10 shooting. Cleveland was without Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley and Max Strus in the loss, while Brooklyn was missing Cam Johnson.

With the victory and the Atlanta Hawks' loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Nets climbed to three and a half games back of the Eastern Conference's final Play-In spot. Brooklyn holds the season tiebreaker with Atlanta.

The Nets will be back in action Wednesday against the Orlando Magic before closing out a six-game road trip with a back-to-back against the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs.