Kings Top Hawks Behind Artest, Martin
Sacramento 109, Atlanta 84 (F)
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 12 (Ticker) -- Ron Artest and Kevin Martin headlined the latest home win for the Sacramento Kings. It was yet another road loss for the Atlanta Hawks.
Artest and Martin scored 20 points apiece to lead the Kings to their eighth straight win at Arco Arena, a 109-84 victory over the Hawks, who slipped to 0-12 on the road against Western Conference opponents.
Along with his offensive performance, Artest also had six assists, six steals and helped contain Hawks leading scorer Al Harrington to nine points on 3-of-11 shooting.
Artest scored 14 of his 20 points in the second quarter to help the Kings build a 48-40 halftime advantage.
Martin took over in the third quarter, scoring 11 points as Sacramento pulled away.
A first-round pick in 2005, Martin has averaged 20.6 points and shot 63 percent from the floor (32-of-51) in four games as a starter for the injured Bonzi Wells.
"Kevin knows how to score," Kings forward Kenny Thomas said. "If he just keeps on taking good shots and being aggressive, attacking the rim, he'll be alright."
The Kings started the third quarter with an 18-8 run to increase the advantage to 66-48. Martin converted an acrobatic three-point play to highlight the spurt and Artest capped it with a three-point play with 5:45 left.
A jumper by Mike Bibby opened the lead to 78-53 with 1:07 remaining.
"Especially in the second half, we passed the ball well," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "All we talked about at halftime was making the simple play. During the second half we calmed down and moved the ball really well."
The Hawks closed the third quarter with eight straight points, including a 3-pointer by rookie Salim Stoudamire with less than a second left. But they pulled no closer than 15 points in the fourth quarter.
"They physically out-toughed us," said Atlanta coach Mike Woodson. "It wasn't even close in the second half."
Joe Johnson scored all 13 of his points in the first half for Atlanta, which is 4-20 on the road this season. Josh Childress also had 13 for the Hawks.
"(Artest) definitely makes them better because they feed off his energy," Johnson said. "I think he had a great night on both ends of the floor, so he impacted them offensively and defensively."
Sacramento shot 52 percent from the field, held a 46-35 advantage on the boards and limited the Hawks to 39 percent shooting (31-of-79).
"We have a lot of guys who are aggressive rebounders and Ron (Artest) keeps telling the guards to come back and help us, so they've been doing a real good job about that," said Thomas, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Brad Miller collected 15 points and nine rebounds and Bibby finished with 13 points for the Kings.