Brooklyn's second unit came alive Saturday, as the Nets got 54 points from their reserves, including a combined 44 from Andray Blatche and Marcus Thornton.
Playing in just his third game with the Nets after being acquired in a February trade, Thornton had a tremendous game off the bench, with 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
The 26-year-old shooting guard had 12 of those 25 in the fourth quarter, as Jason Kidd went with the hot hand down the stretch, and Thornton rewarded that faith.
After the game, Thornton gave credit to his new teammates for trusting in him, and he praised the way they keep the right mindset even when the game gets tight.
[sny-box]"It's a great feeling. It's a great feeling when you have guys that encourage you every play, and veterans on this team that encourage you to do the right thing. Even though it's my third game, I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. [...] They encourage, every play. [Even if] you miss a shot, you make a turnover, anything. They're still encouraging. They're great teammates."[/sny-box]
The Nets acquired Thornton to give them another scoring option off the bench, and he gave them a much needed shot in the arm Saturday night, with an impressive 25 points on only 13 shots from the field in 24 minutes.
Kidd chose to let Thornton, Blatche, and Andrei Kirilenko play the entire fourth quarter, and they combined to score 23 points on 50% shooting in the quarter. Blatche had an amazing 10 rebounds and three steals in the final quarter.
Thornton's big game enabled Kidd to keep Joe Johnson sidelined the entire fourth quarter while also giving Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston some extra rest. Kidd boldly stuck with his new weapon even as the Bucks made a game of it late.
Having survived a wild road trip, the Nets are now finally headed home to Brooklyn, just one game below the .500 mark on the season. I would expect Marcus Thornton to get a nice, warm welcome from his new home fans at the Barclays Center.