Kevin Garnett out again with back spasms

Kevin Garnett reacts in the second half of Kevin Garnett reacts in the second half of a game against the Milwaukee Bucks. (Dec. 27, 2013) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

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Kevin Garnett's bout with back spasms remains an issue for the Nets as they kick off a stretch of six games in 10 days.

Because of back spasms, Garnett, 37, on Monday night missed his second consecutive game, the first time he's done so all season.

Nets coach Jason Kidd thought Garnett was feeling better Monday, but he was reluctant to speculate when he might return, citing the heavy stretch of games coming up.

Rookie Mason Plumlee started in Garnett's place, just as he did in Milwaukee on Saturday.

Kidd said the Nets most miss Garnett's energy, defensive presence and ability to stretch the floor with his perimeter shot.

"I think maybe [opponents] feel a little more comfortable when he's not in there," Kidd said, "because we have struggled without him in the lineup."

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The Nets were 3-5 without Garnett entering the game against the Bulls.

Thornton makes splash

On the heels of Marcus Thornton's 25-point performance off the bench in the win over Milwaukee, Kidd said he's working on getting the recently acquired guard a more defined role in the Nets' rotation.

"He's knocking down shots, he's getting great looks and he's competing on the defensive end," Kidd said, "so we've got to find him more time on the floor."

The Nets acquired Thornton from the Kings two weeks ago for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans. The move brought the Nets' combined salary and tax payout this season to more than $190 million.

Entering Monday night's game, Thornton was averaging 14.7 points in 22.7 minutes in three games since the trade. He's averaged 26.2 minutes during his five-year career.

What a streak

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Nets official scorer Herb Turetzky worked his 1,250th consecutive home game, including playoffs, a streak that began May 3, 1984.

Turetzky hasn't missed a Nets regular-season game since 1978. He has been the franchise's official scorer since its inaugural season in 1967, when the ABA team was known as the New Jersey Americans.

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