Notebook: Hawks 122, Kings 108



Posted Feb 22, 2013 11:26 PM

By Matt Winkeljohn, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Atlanta Hawks may have stopped playing defense for a while, but they resumed scoring Friday night and Al Horford remained red hot while scoring 24 points in a 122-108 win over the visiting Sacramento Kings. Jeff Teague added 20 points and 12 assists for Atlanta (29-23).

Atlanta has beaten Sacramento 10 straight times. The Kings last beat the Hawks five years ago, on Feb. 20, 2008.

Spared at the trade deadline after considerable spectulation that he would be moved, Josh Smith scored 18 points for the Hawks. DeShawn Stevenson pitched in a season-high 17 points while tying his season high with five 3-pointers made.

The Hawks trailed by 13 in the first quarter and 63-60 at halftime, yet won this one going away by scoring 97 points over the final three quarters. The Kings ran out of gas late in the third quarter, and shot 7-for-25 in the fourth period as Atlanta's defensive adjustments paid off.

Isaiah Thomas scored 30 points (with nine assists) to pace Sacramento, and DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points and 13 rebounds as the Kings lost their fourth straight game.

QUOTABLE: "I think we got seduced into playing their style. They were pushing the ball . . . once we made some adjustments in the second half, we were better."

-- Al Horford

THE STAT: Six. The Hawks had just six turnovers, and the Kings scored a mere three points off of them. Atlanta scored 24 points off 16 Sacramento miscues.

TURNING POINT: The third quarter went back and forth before the Hawks closed the period with a 10-3 run to lead 93-88.

QUOTABLE II: "Sometimes, when you're playing well offensively, you forget the other side of the ball . . . we had every opportunity to win this game if we even gave half of a defensive effort. Age is not the issue anymore . . . it's time for us to grow up and be a team."

-- Kings coach Keith Smart

GOOD MOVE: Hawks coach Larry Drew started a big lineup with Zaza Pachulia at center, Horford at power forward, Smith at small forward, Stevenson at shooting guard and Teague at the point. In the second half, Drew opened with Horford at center, Smith at power, and Kyle Korver, Stevenson and Teague. He eventually had Smith defend Cousins. Atlanta's offense did not suffer, and the defense was much improved.

QUOTABLE III: "Defensively, in the first half we had no presence . . . I really wanted to go a little bit smaller so that we could get a little bit more speed. . . . It wasn't until we put Josh Smith on [Cousins] that he slowed down. Josh is the type of guy who will take the challenge against guys like that. As a coaching staff, we recognize what he brings to the table."

-- Larry Drew

HOT: Horford has scored at least 20 points in four straight games for the first time in his career. After shooting 11-for-14 Friday, he's put together a quartet of games shooting 74.6 percent (44-for-59) while averaging 24.5 points . . . Stevenson was 5-for-6 from distance Friday, and in the past two games has shot 8-for-11 on 3-pointers.. . Cousins had 12 points and five rebounds in the third quarter . . . Atlanta starters shot a combined 11-for-13 in the third period, when Atlanta took the lead for good.

NOT: Rarely used big man Johan Petro missed all five of his shots for Atlanta. He's missed eight straight shots in his last two games . . . Sacramento starters shot a combined 5-for-18 in the final period.

NOTABLE: The Hawks honored their "Team of the '90s," at halftime. With the present-day team wearing the jerseys worn by Atlanta from 1995-'99, small forward Dominique Wilkins was the most obvious choice as determined by a fan vote. He was joined by center Dikembe Mutombo, power forward Kevin Willis, point guard Mookie Blaylock, and shooting guard Steve Smith. . . Friday's game was the beginning of a five-game road trip for the Kings. Atlanta's game Saturday night will kick off a six-game road trip for the Hawks. . . Atlanta's Dahntay Jones was the only one of five combined players acquired by trade Wednesday by the two teams to play Friday. The former Mavericks' player played 2:27 late. The Kings hope to integrate Patrick Patterson as soon as Sunday in New Orleans. Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas may debut on Sacramento's road trip. For the Hawks, newcomer Jeremy Tyler was inactive.

UP NEXT: For the Kings, Sunday @ New Orleans, Tuesday @ Miami, Wednesday @ Orlando. For the Hawks, Saturday @ Milwaukee, Monday @ Detroit, Wednesday @ Utah.