It’s been a rough season for the Sacramento Kings, but it’s looking increasingly like they may have found something in the form of shooting guard Marcus Thornton. A former second round pick out of LSU, Thornton has averaged nearly 20 points over the last 10 games, including a 32-point outburst against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.
Thornton has admirably filled the sixth-man role in relief of a Kings’ starting five that boasts high-draft picks like Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins, but zero cohesion. Thornton hit 12-of-21 from the field—5-of-11 behind the arc—in his breakout performance against the Nuggets.
The Kings are a dismal 21-42 straight-up this season and have already managed to lose two games this week. Those followed a rare win that came against the lowly Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday. Fans should note things haven’t been much better for Sacramento versus the number. The Kings are a roll-breaking 27-34-2 against the spread this season.
As for Thornton, even head coach Keith Smart sounds excited about the recent production, according to the Sacramento Bee.
“He’s playing good basketball and obviously that’s what I envisioned that’s how he’d play on our team give us a boost with our second unit,” Smart told the paper. “Because he has the ability to score from the perimeter as well as drive and he makes free throws.”
Thornton has played a sizable role since coming to the Kings as a late-round pick in 2009. He averaged 21.3 points a game his sophomore season, though that came in just 27 games, and posted 18.7 points a game while starting all 51 games a season ago. Despite those numbers, the Baton Rouge native has been pegged as the sixth man behind the backcourt of Evans and Isiah Thomas, who was a high first-round pick by the Kings two seasons ago.