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Xavier Thames records two steals in first NBA Summer League game

The former Aztec struggled offensively, but began his NBA career today in Orlando doing what he does best: defend.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Today, ten days after he heard his name called at the 2014 NBA Draft, Xavier Thames began his NBA career in the Brooklyn Nets' first NBA Summer League game. The Nets beat the Indiana Pacers 101-81 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.

Thames didn't start (he backed up fellow draft night rookie Markel Brown), but he played the third most minutes of any Net guard on the summer league roster (20:13). He shot poorly, going 0-for-3 from the field (0-for-1 from 3-point range). However, he drew contact well and went to the line twice, making 3 of 4 shots there.

Thames also grabbed two boards, one offensive and one defensive, but didn't dish out any assists.

The former SDSU guard also had a poor second half in terms of fouls, recording five personal fouls in the last 12 minutes of the game.

This clearly wasn't a great offensive game for Thames, but he did flash his defensive skills and stole the ball twice, once in the second quarter and once with 11.9 seconds left in the game.

Thames' teammate Mason Plumlee absolutely controlled the game, shooting 8-of-11 for 23 points and grabbing seven rebounds to lead the Nets to a convincing victory over the Pacers.

Thames' fellow draft night rookies played significant time, as well. Former Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown started the game, scoring 9 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Brown also grabbed four rebounds and recorded four assists. The former Cowboy got into foul trouble, as well, finishing the gam with five fouls. He also recorded one steal during his 25:39 on the court.

Former Baylor Bear forward Cory Jefferson, who backed up Plumlee, made all three of his shots off the bench, scoring 6 points on the afternoon. He also recorded nine rebounds, two steals and an assist. He played 16:08, but he fouled out with 1:25 left in the game.

You can see Thames and the Nets next play against the Miami Heat tomorrow, July 6, at 4 p.m. PT. The game will be shown live on NBA TV and the NBA Summer League app.