You couldn’t tell.
Thornton played his spark-plug scoring role to perfection, netting 15 of his 20 points in the second quarter of the Nets’ 103-94 rout of the Memphis Grizzlies.
“I think that’s what we were counting on him doing,” Deron Williams said of Thornton, who was acquired in a trade that sent seldom-used reserves Jason Terry and Reggie Evans to the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 19.
“We knew what type of offensive player he was, what type of weapon he is. I think he’s enjoying this opportunity to play with us and we’re glad we have him.”
The 26-year-old guard, who finished 8-for-13 from the field and 4-for-5 from 3-point range in 26 minutes, has scored 20 or more points in two of his five games with the Nets after doing so in just three of his 46 games with the Kings this season.
“I feel comfortable,” Thornton said. “I still don’t know all the plays yet, but that comes with time. When you have great teammates coaching you on the floor, it’s even better.”
The Nets were in desperate need of someone who could come off the bench and score in bunches -- and that’s exactly the player Thornton is. He may not be a great defender, but he can sure provide instant offense.
In one stretch during the second quarter, he scored eight straight points -- hitting a pair of 3-pointers and getting a layup to drop in transition.
“I just tried to come in and be a spark to those guys in the first unit,” Thornton said. “They played great in the first quarter, so I just tried to keep it going myself.
“When you have unselfish teammates that are looking for you, every time out on the court, it makes it much easier to go out there and play.”
Said Nets coach Jason Kidd: “He’s been big for us coming off the bench. He’s getting great looks. He’s knocking them down, so he’s doing everything we’ve asked. He’s competing on the defensive end. We all can see what he can do offensively, but I thought the defensive end with him being able to get deflections and help side [D], I thought that was big for us.”