Thornton, who was acquired by Brooklyn in a trade with the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 19, scored a game-high 25 points -- 12 in the fourth quarter -- leading the Nets to a 107-98 win over the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday night at BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The 26-year-old guard had shot just 7-for-18 from the field in his first two games with his new team. But he stepped up down the stretch, hitting a pair of 3-pointers to keep the Bucks at bay as starters Deron Williams and Joe Johnson watched from the bench.
"I kind of felt disrespected because [Jeff Adrien] played so far back," Thornton joked. "It was one of those things. I tried to make the shots when the opportunity presented itself."
The Nets (28-29) ended up with a 4-2 record on their circus trip.
"This is a very positive road trip starting in Utah, but understanding the last game is always the hardest because you’re thinking of getting home after 10, 11 days," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "The guys came out from the start and put us in a position to win the game."
Thornton finished 8-for-13 shooting, including 4-for-7 from beyond the arc and 5-for-6 from the free throw line. He paced a bench that contributed 54 points in the victory.
"He competed very well on the defensive end," Kidd said. "One of the biggest things is it gives the other guys a chance to catch their breath on the bench, especially after a long trip and then a big week at home."
Kidd said that Thornton allowed him to rest Johnson and Williams. Johnson didn’t play in the fourth, while Williams played just 6:05 in the final period.
Williams hit three of his first four shots but hurt himself early in the second quarter as he was defending a driving Ramon Sessions and shot just 3-for-12 from the field the rest of the way. He was seen in the locker room with ice on his forearm but told reporters he doesn’t think it’s too serious. Johnson went 2-for-9 from the field.
Notes: Shaun Livingston had six dunks and finished with 14 points The sparse crowd at the Bradley Center gave Jason Collins a healthy round of applause when he entered the game with 7:49 left in the second quarter Mirza Teletovic picked up a technical in the second for arguing a foul call. Kidd joked that it would take two or three years before Mason Plumlee developed a jump shot. According to NBA.com’s shot chart, Plumlee has yet to make a shot outside the paint this season (0-for-6).