Thornton leads Nets past Bucks
MILWAUKEE—Marcus Thornton scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Brooklyn Nets 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.
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 in February, was held scoreless in 8 minutes.
Khris Middleton and Ramon Sessions scored 16 points apiece for Milwaukee.
Brooklyn has gone 18-8 in 2014 after opening the season 10-21. The Nets (28-29) can get back to .500 for the first time since being 2-2 on Nov. 5 when they play Chicago at home on Monday night.
The Nets play seven of their next 10 games at home, where they have won 10 of their last 12.
Thornton hit a pair of 3-pointers, Paul Pierce made another 3 and Blatche scored on a putback as Brooklyn used an 11-6 run to open a 100-91 lead with 2:46 left.
Milwaukee never got closer than six points the rest of the game.
Mirza Teletovic hit a 3-pointer to cap an 8-2 run opening the fourth quarter, giving the Nets an 85-74 lead with 10:04 left in the game.
The Bucks then had an 11-4 run to pull within 89-85 on a pair of free throws by Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Brooklyn used a 20-11 run to open the second half and took a 75-64 lead on Joe Johnson’s 3-pointer with 4:27 to go in the third quarter.
Deron Williams scored 13 points in the first half and the Nets took a 55-53 lead at halftime. Brooklyn took the lead for good, 43-40, on Thornton’s 3-pointer with 7:29 to go in the second quarter.
NOTES: Rookie Mason Plumlee made his third start for Brooklyn, scoring five points in 11 minutes. … Garnett has missed six games for rest, but this was only the second one he missed due to injury. … The Bucks honored former player Junior Bridgeman, whose No. 2 is retired by the team, in the fourth quarter. … Milwaukee’s Zaza Pachulia has missed 21 of 26 shots in the team’s last five games.