Jalen Wilson started for the first time at forward for...

Jalen Wilson started for the first time at forward for the Nets on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. Credit: Errol Anderson

With the Nets shorthanded because of deals made at the trade deadline, Thursday’s game was another chance for rookies Jalen Wilson and Noah Clowney to get extended minutes.

For Wilson, whom the Nets drafted in the second round, it was his first career start and came after scoring 10 points in 18 minutes Tuesday against the Mavericks. The forward scored eight points, shooting 3-for-8 from the field, including 2-for- 3 on three-pointers, and had three rebounds.

Clowney played 23 minutes off the bench, scored six points and was 3-for-6 from the field, including 0-for-2 on three-pointers. It’s another lesson for the young players, who went through their first trade deadline and had to adjust to saying goodbye to teammates Royce O’Neale and Spencer Dinwiddie.

“Just staying ready. I think that’s been the message all year,” Wilson said before the game. “It’s having a good mindset about no matter how much playing time you get, just being ready for your opportunity. You never know what’s going to happen.

“Today we only have nine guys but still got to go out and compete.”

Johnson, Walker updates

Cam Johnson and Lonnie Walker IV remained out for Thursday’s game against the Cavaliers, but one could return Saturday against the Spurs.

Johnson will be out through the weekend with tightness in his left hip, coach Jacque Vaughn said. Walker, however, “has the potential to play,” which means another reunion with the team that drafted him in 2018.

Both were injured in Monday’s loss to Golden State, with Walker out with left hamstring tightness.

Vaughn also said that Day’Ron Sharpe will also be out Saturday and he’s still not close to returning after suffering a hyperextended left knee on Jan. 7.

Sharpe is able to run a bit more but is still limited to one-on-one on-court work with an assistant coach.

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