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February 2, 2012
Kings vs. Trail Blazers: Thornton available

The Kings will have Marcus Thornton back tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers, though head coach Keith Smart said he doesn't know how much Thornton will play.

"It'll be good to see where he's at," Smart said. "He hasn't had a chance to play five-on-five, conditioning up and down the floor with the team, but he's had a chance to be on the floor, play some four-on-four."

Smart did not say whether Thornton will start.

Thornton said Wednesday he'll be wearing the equivalent of football padding to protect his left thigh. He has missed the past four games after a test found a significant hematoma in the thigh.

Thornton was on the court a couple hours before the game going through individual warm-ups. Smart cautioned that Thornton will probably "have to play catch-up with his game," having not played since Jan. 21, and draws a tough task in trying to get a rhythm back against an active defensive team in the Trail Blazers.

* DeMarcus Cousins has posted some impressive rebound totals early in the season and is averaging 11.1 rebounds per game. Smart credited Cousins' hands and his being in better shape this year to continuously go after rebounds.

* One pre-game observation, in illustration of the Trail Blazers' physical style of play, which was a theme with Smart on Wednesday: As part of individual warm-ups, several players practiced grabbing offensive rebounds and getting a put-back shot -- while being swatted repeatedly by a team staff member wearing large pads wrapped around his forearms.



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