The Dutch ace, who secured the highest televised average earlier in the season with a stunning 123.4 in Aberdeen, added the third best TV three-dart statistic to his repertoire with 117.95 against tenacious Scotsman Thornton.
World Grand Prix champion Thornton hit back from 5-1 down to trail just 6-5 with a gutsy display, but van Gerwen produced an 11-darter in the deciding leg, to follow an earlier ten-dart finish, as he claimed the two points.
“It was a very tough game and Robert played really well and made it difficult for me because he never gives up,” said van Gerwen, who hit five 180s in the final four legs of the contest. “I had to play well and I’m really glad I did at the end.
“The average is amazing, especially because I missed a few doubles, and it’s a pleasure to play this well again and to get the two points again. After three draws I wanted to get the full house so I’m glad I did.”
van Gerwen is action in three Players Championship events from Friday to Sunday before facing Gary Anderson in Belfast next Thursday.