NEW ORLEANS—Hornets head coach Monty Williams is defending the playing time he has given guard Marcus Thornton.
The second year guard from LSU has played sparingly, until Wednesday night. Thornton scored 19 points as the Hornets rallied from 23 down to beat Sacramento. The rally was the biggest in franchise history.
Before Friday night's game with Utah, WIlliams said, "I am not trying to kill Marcus. I have little ole ladies asking me why I am not playing Marcus Thornton." That response drew a laugh from the media corp on hand.
Thornton, a second year player from LSU, was on the all rookie second team in 2009-2010. But he has played sparingly as Williams criticized his defense. Williams said he will not go into details as to why Thornton hasn't played more. Said Monty, "I will always protect my players."
Thornton scored 19 points in 23:48 of playing time as the Hornets routed Utah 100-71 Friday night.