MILWAUKEE (AP) — Marcus Thornton knew he was getting a second chance with the Nets and he made the most of it in just his third game with his new team.
Thornton scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter to lead Brooklyn to a 107-98 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.
Brooklyn's Kevin Garnett missed the game with back spasms but wasn't needed as the Nets never trailed in the second half against the NBA's worst team.
Thornton, playing in his third game for Brooklyn since being obtained in a Feb. 19 trade with Sacramento, came off the bench to make 8 of 13 from the field to help the Nets finish their seven-game road trip 4-3.
"I'm coming to a team with all these veterans, that know how to win, that have championship aspirations and have championships under their belts already, and a coach that has a championship, too," Thornton said. "I knew it would be a great situation."
The 6-foot-4 guard signed a four-year, $31.2 million contract with Sacramento in 2011, but averaged only 8.3 points while shooting 38 percent in 46 games for the Kings this season.
Nets coach Jason Kidd wanted to see whether Thornton — criticized by Sacramento coach Michael Malone for his defensive play — could step up offensively and defensively at the end of games.
"I want to find out coming down the stretch defensively can guys count on him, and then offensively can we count on him," Kidd said. "We know he can shoot the ball, put the ball in the basket, but coming down the stretch can he make plays?
"This was a great opportunity to see that after a long trip, he stepped up," Kidd said.
Milwaukee coach Larry Drew said his team struggled defensively, allowing 42 points in the paint.
"Just too many defensive mistakes," he said. "Bad rotations. Going into the game one of the things we wanted to do was really try to affect them down on the block."
Andray Blatche added 19 points and 13 rebounds for Brooklyn, including eight points and 10 rebounds in the fourth quarter. Jason Collins, who signed a 10-day contract with Brooklyn last Sunday, was held scoreless in 8 minutes.
Khris Middleton and Ramon Sessions scored 16 points apiece for Milwaukee.
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