The Brooklyn Nets acquired guard Marcus Thornton from the Sacramento Kings for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans on Wednesday.
Terry came from Boston along with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce but has appeared in just 35 games after a knee injury, averaging 4.5 points on 36 percent shooting. Evans was a favorite of fans but not coach Jason Kidd, who used him in just 30 of their 51 games.
Evans made 56 starts last season and led the Nets with 11.1 rebounds per game, but lost his starting spot when the Nets acquired Garnett, and fell behind rookie Mason Plumlee in Kidd’s rotation.
After being acquired in a midseason trade with New Orleans, Thornton led the Kings with 18.7 points per game in 2011-12, but has fallen out of favor under coach Michael Malone, even getting benched at one point to make way for rookie Ben McLemore.
Thornton is averaging just 8.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and one assist in 24 minutes per game this season.
WESTBROOK RETURNS — Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook made it through a full practice for the first time since his most recent surgery, just in time for tonight’s rematch with the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat. Westbrook, a three-time All-Star, missed 27 games since having a procedure Dec. 27 to deal with swelling in his injured right knee — the third operation in nine months.
His return nearly overshadows the usual hype that goes with matchups between Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Miami’s LeBron James.
“It’s like trading for an All-Star at the trade deadline,” said Durant, the NBA’s leading scorer. “We’re looking forward to it. We’re definitely excited for him to get back.”
FOULS FOR FLOPS — The NBA Development League will begin assessing technical fouls for flops, a new rule that goes further than the NBA by punishing the act during a game.
The NBA began to issue retroactive punishments last season for flopping, the art of exaggerating contact to deceive referees into calling a foul. If a postgame review determines that a player flopped, he receives a warning for the first offense and a $5,000 fine for the second offense.
Under the NBA D-League system that begins today and runs through the end of the season, referees will note when they believe a flop occurred, then confirm it via instant replay at the next timeout or quarter break. If confirmed, the free throw will be shot at that time.
CENTER SIDELINED — The Atlanta Hawks were without center Gustavo Ayon against the Washington Wizards after he hurt his right shoulder Tuesday at Indiana.
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer would not provide details on the severity of the injury. Elton Brand started at center.
Cartier Martin started for guard DeMarre Carroll, who missed two games because of a left hamstring strain.