Miller, Bibby Help Kings Sweep Hawks
Sacramento 102, Atlanta 93
ATLANTA, March 3 (Ticker) -- Brad Miller flashed his skills in the paint, and the Atlanta Hawks had an awfully tough time dealing with him.
Miller had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Mike Bibby scored nine of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Sacramento Kings posted a 102-93 victory over the Hawks and completed the season series sweep.
"We're definitely enjoying ourselves," said Miller, whose team improved to 10-6 since the addition of Ron Artest. "We're getting more comfortable."
On Friday, the 7-foot Miller made 8-of-18 shots and 7-of-9 free throws, adding three assists.
Bibby's floater from the baseline as the shot clock expired gave Sacramento an 80-72 edge with just under nine minutes remaining. The lead was 87-78 when Miller converted a three-point play and Bibby drained a jumper to push the advantage to 14 points with 5 1/2 minutes left.
"We started hitting some shots towards the end," said Bibby, who was 7-of-15 from the floor. "We picked it up a bit and things started going our way. We had fun tonight. Some of those shots I couldn't believe I made."
Al Harrington nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to help Atlanta close to 98-91 at the 1:11 mark before Bibby hit an off-balance jumper from the right corner. The Hawks failed to challenge thereafter.
"We've been in a lot of road games in the fourth quarter where we've been up five with a minute to go and lost it," Miller said. "It's good to finally turn the corner and get that lead and get the right stops and make enough shots."
"Bibby and Miller have been playing together for three seasons, so they know exactly what each guy likes to do down the stretch," said Harrington, who had 23 points and 10 rebounds. "That really showed down the stretch of the game, because they just played the two-man game the whole time and pretty much got whatever they wanted."
Kevin Martin had 19 points and nine rebounds and Artest scored 18 points for Sacramento, which shot 46 percent (36-of-77) and held a 46-34 advantage in points in the paint.
But it is Artest's defense that is paying the most dividends. In two games against Atlanta since he joined the Kings, he has held Hawks leading scorer Joe Johnson at bay after intermission. In the four quarters combined, Johnson has managed just six points on 2-for-14 shooting. Johnson finished with 19 points Friday.
"I tried to do what I do," said Artest, who made 8-of-16 shots. "I tried to go out there and play defense. Fortunately, tonight it worked."
"He's a 1-on-1 defensive machine," Miller said. "It's hard to get a free look when Ron's guarding you."
Swingman Bonzi Wells returned for Sacramento, scoring just three points in 14 minutes after missing 11 games with a partial tear of his right groin.
"I felt good out there," Wells said. "I was just trying to be cautious. I took an MRI the other day, they said my groin is OK. Now, I just have to get back into basketball shape and get my rhythm. Hopefully, I'll be fine in the next three, four or five games."
Marvin Williams scored 17 points and fellow rookie Salim Stoudamire added 14 for the Hawks, who have dropped four of their last five meetings with the Kings. They shot 46 percent (34-of-73) overall.
"Sacramento is a good team, but everybody is beatable on every night," said Atlanta forward Josh Smith, who scored eight points. "It's just on how you play, and we didn't play together tonight. That's one of the reasons why we lost (Friday)."
Hawks forward Josh Childress left in the fourth quarter with a sprained left ankle and is listed as day-to-day.