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March 4, 2013
The Morning After: Marcus Thornton playing his best of late

John Salmons deserves plenty of praise for his play of late. It's hard to ignore his hot shooting, especially from three-point range.

But Marcus Thornton keeps playing well.

He's been hot since his explosion in Miami (24.8 points, 58.1 field goal percentage, 32-55FG, 48.3 percent three-point percentage, 14-29 3pt FG, .87,5 free throw percentage 21-24 FT) over four games.

Sunday against the Charlotte Bobcats, Thornton's 10 points in the second quarter were key in establishing a halftime lead before Salmons' sparked the big third quarter in the win.

"The energy wasn't there in the first quarter so I took it upon myself to try to bring that energy to the game," Thornton said. "The shots are still falling down so it feels good."

This is the best stretch Thornton has played in his sixth man role this season.

"He's playing good basketball and obviously that's what I envisioned that's how'd he'd play on our team and give us a boost with our second unit," said coach Keith Smart. "Because he has the ability to score form the perimeter as well as drive and he makes free throws."

Since Kings coach Keith Smart started inserting Thornton into games around the 3:30 mark of the first quarter, Thornton is averaging 17.7 points in 10 games.

Thornton said his play of late isn't as simple as when he checks into a game.

"It's just me getting consistent minutes," Thornton said. "Me being able to stay out there and playing through things instead of when things go wrong have to be took out ... I guess it's just a trust factor now. I've guess I've gained a bit more trust and I'm just trying to keep it going."

Thornton has played less than 20 minutes just once in the last 10 games.



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