Sacramento (27-30) at Atlanta (19-37)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 64° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Fri Mar 3, 2006
  • TV: CSCA, WPXA
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Following an encouraging start to a key road trip, the Sacramento Kings look to match a season high with their third straight victory as they meet the Atlanta Hawks.

The Kings kicked off a five-game, eight-day road trip with Wednesday’s 97-90 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kenny Thomas had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Mike Bibby added 16 points and 12 assists for Sacramento, which had won just two of its last 11 road games.

“Hopefully, we’ll get a good, positive feeling; we’ve got four more games (on the trip),” said Brad Miller, who scored 15 points. “We just stuck together.”

This road swing also includes games at Washington, New Jersey and Milwaukee.

The Kings, seeking their fifth three-game winning streak this season, have won eight of 11 overall. They are tied with Utah in ninth place in the Western Conference, 1 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Sacramento used just seven players Wednesday, but each scored in double figures.

“We came in here and got a huge win,” Thomas said. “Nobody thought we’d win this game.”

Ron Artest scored 11 points against Cleveland. More importantly, he held Cavaliers star LeBron James to 7-for-21 shooting and 19 points—11.8 below his average coming in.

Sacramento is 9-6 since acquiring Ron Artest in a trade with Indiana for Peja Stojakovic.

“Ron made James work for the shots he got,” coach Rick Adelman said. “One thing Ron makes guys do is work for every shot.”

Maybe the only negative aspect of the victory for the Kings was forward Francisco Garcia spraining his left ankle knocking down a dead ball that got stuck on the back of the rim. He was on crutches in the locker room, but X-rays were negative.

“It was stupid of me to do that,” Garcia said. “I should have left it up there, but I’ll be all right.”

The Hawks are coming off their third overtime victory in four games, beating the Toronto Raptors 113-111 on Wednesday.

Joe Johnson and Al Harrington each scored 26 points for Atlanta, which blew a six-point lead with 34 seconds left in regulation.

“We got to try and win some of these games in regulation. This overtime thing is getting old,” said Johnson, whose team is 4-1 in overtime this season.

Harrington, who fouled out in overtime, was just happy to get another victory.

“We’ve won our last three that way. We’ll take 26 more like that as long we win,” he said.

The Hawks have lost five straight and nine of 10 against the Kings.

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Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists