NEW YORK (AP) — Marcus Thornton scored 15 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter against his old team and Joe Johnson added 18 points, helping the Brooklyn Nets overcome an injury to Paul Pierce in a 104-89 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.
Alan Anderson had 11 points and Shaun Livingston and Deron Williams each scored 10 points as the Nets won for the fifth time in six games.
DeMarcus Cousins had 20 points and 28 rebounds to lead the Kings, and Rudy Gay added 20 points.
Brooklyn led by 16 points in the first half after losing Pierce to a right shoulder injury in the early minutes of the first quarter.
Sacramento trailed 49-40 at halftime and then opened the third quarter with a 17-8 run to tie the score at 57-all on a 23-foot jumper by Gay with 7:38 left in the period.
However, Brooklyn outscored Sacramento 47-32 the rest of the way.
Thornton, playing against Sacramento for the first time since the Kings traded him to Brooklyn on Feb. 19, scored 14 of the Nets’ first 16 points in the fourth quarter.
The reserve guard drove to the basket to start the period to make it 79-65 and the picked Ray McCallum and drove for another two points to extend the lead. After another turnover by McCallum, Thornton’s 3-pointer made it 84-68 with 10:28 remaining and he hit another 3 to make it 87-69.
Thornton then followed Anderson’s 3 with another one of his own to extend the lead to 93-70.
Pierce got hurt with just under 11 minutes left in the first quarter when Sacramento’s Jason Thompson backed him into the paint and as he kept looking to post Pierce in the paint, he quickly spun around for a layup. Pierce felt the force of Thompson banging into him and clutched his shoulder.
After the game, Nets coach Jason Kidd said Pierce was day-to-day with a sore right shoulder. Brooklyn also lost Andrei Kirilenko in the third quarter to a sprained right ankle. Kevin Garnett has also missed the last five games with back spasms.