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Kings deal Thornton to Nets for Terry, Evans

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POSTED February 19, 2014 11:18 p.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets acquired guard Marcus Thornton from the Sacramento Kings for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans on Wednesday, removing two little-used veterans from their aging roster and hoping a younger one can rediscover his scoring touch.

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 then fell behind rookie Mason Plumlee in Kidd’s rotation.

Thornton averaged 21.3 points in 23 games with the Kings in 2010-11 after being acquired in a midseason trade with New Orleans.

He then led the Kings with 18.7 points per game in 2011-12, but had fallen out of favor under defensive-minded coach Michael Malone, even getting benched at one point to make way for rookie Ben McLemore.

“Marcus is a proven scorer in this league,” Nets general manager Billy King said in a statement. “He is a young talent who will help us in the backcourt.”

Thornton, now 26 years old, is averaging just 8.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and one assist in 24 minutes per game this season. He has started 26 of 46 games and is shooting 38 percent from the floor, including 31 percent from 3-point range.

It’s the third move for the Kings since the season started as they rebuild under new owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Pete D’Alessandro and Malone. Sacramento sent Luc Mbah a Moute to Minnesota for Derrick Williams on Nov. 26 and acquired Rudy Gay in a seven-play deal with Toronto on Dec. 9.

“We’re an unfinished product,” D’Alessandro said before the Kings hosted Golden State on Wednesday night. “We’re just going to continue to try to change and turn it over and try to figure it out until we can get it right. I think change is good when you’ve lost a lot. You have to change. You always have to change.”

Lakers trade Steve Blake to Warriors for 2 guards

SACRAMENTO (AP) — The Golden State Warriors have made another move in hopes of finding a reliable backup to point guard Stephen Curry.

The Warriors acquired Steve Blake from the Los Angeles Lakers for reserve guards Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks on Wednesday night, adding a veteran ball-handler to their beleaguered bench.

Word of the deal started to spread just before the Warriors played in Sacramento and the Lakers hosted Houston, with the players involved saying goodbye to teammates and coaches in their locker rooms. The Warriors went on to beat Sacramento 101-92, while the Rockets routed the Lakers 134-108.

Both teams confirmed the trade before halftime of their games.

“We think this just bolsters the bench and gives us some more options, some more weapons and a player when you give him the ball you know you can trust him,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said.

“We just think it was a chance to improve our roster and that was our justification.”

The trade gives Golden State a savvy veteran off the bench without sacrificing any of its core players or moving into the league’s luxury tax.

The Warriors used a $4 million trade exception they got in a deal with Denver that landed free agent Andre Iguodala last summer. The team is about $400,000 under the luxury tax, Myers said.

The Warriors are hoping Blake will be uniform when they host Houston on Thursday night in Oakland.

“We like our core, and I think our core likes each other. I think it’s a core that can win,” Myers said. “And our bench, for whatever reason, struggled early on. Anything we could do to fortify it, we tried to do without removing what we consider our core.”

Blake, who is making $4 million in the final year of his contract, averaged 9.5 points and 7.6 assists while starting all 27 games he played for the injury-depleted Lakers this season. The Warriors are counting on the 33-year-old veteran to improve a bench that has been searching for a solid ball-handler since Jarrett Jack left for Cleveland in free agency last summer.

The Warriors acquired Jordan Crawford and Brooks from Boston in a three-team trade on Jan. 15. Golden State sent struggling backup Toney Douglas to Miami in that deal.

Crawford has been, at times, a prolific scorer but is still learning how to be a better distributor and playmaker on a Warriors team that has plenty of shooters. He entered Wednesday averaging 6.3 points and 2.2 assists in his first 13 games with the Warriors after starting for the Celtics while Rajon Rondo was injured.

Warriors coach Mark Jackson said the competition for playing time behind Curry “will play itself out.”

“I know both guys,” Jackson said. “And with Steve, I’ve watched him throughout the course of his career, and he’s a guy that’s not afraid of the moment. It gives us great depth and it gives us experience.”

The Lakers received some salary cap relief and a pair of young and unproven players.

Brooks appeared in just seven games with the Warriors and could never crack Jackson’s rotation. Bazemore, a beloved teammate best known by fans for his animated celebration on Golden State’s bench, also struggled in limited action the past two seasons.

Both had split time with the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, but should get more of an opportunity with the rebuilding Lakers.

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