Atlanta Hawks 112, Sacramento Kings 96

Martin McNeal, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Atlanta Hawks used athleticism and a solid defense to end their four-game West Coast road trip at 2-2 with a 112-96 victory over the Sacramento Kings at the Sleep Train Arena Friday night.
The Hawks evened their record at 4-4 with a strong performance that dominated the struggling Kings throughout most of the night.
Atlanta had five players in double figures, led by shooting guard Kyle Korver's 22 and reserve guard Louis Williams' 21.
The third quarter was the pivotal stanza as Atlanta re-established control by outscoring Sacramento 28-14. The Hawks made 10 of 19 field-goal attempts in the third and limited the Kings to six of 24 shots.
The Kings offense played right into the Hawks' hands by attempting to go one on one instead of moving the balls and themselves.
Sacramento regained the services of center DeMarcus Cousins and point guard Isaiah Thomas (death in family), but neither player could find a flow. Cousins finished with nine points and 16 rebounds, while Thomas scored just three.
Cousins did have a game-high seven assists. Jason Thompson led the Kings (2-7) with 19 points.
The Hawks held a 58-56 halftime advantage on the strength of a full-court dash-and-runner by Jeff Teague at the second quarter.
That the score was that close was surprising.
Atlanta dominated the proceedings early, led by Teague, who scored 13 points in the first quarter. The Hawks led by as many as 14 (34-20) entering the second quarter.
Kings coach Keith Smart said during his pre-game meeting with the media that he was still searching for a working lineup.
"I'm trying to see who can play with whom and who can't play together," Smart said. "We're only (seven) games in going into this game."
After a quarter, Smart still was looking for a productive combination. He found one with John Salmons, Aaron Brooks, Marcus Thornton, rookie Thomas Robinson and veteran Chuck Hayes.
That five combined to slow Atlanta's control of the boards and enabled the Kings to run the floor for some easy baskets.
Thompson joined Thornton and Brooks as double-figure scorers in the first half.
Teague led all scorers with 15 points, while Lou Williams came off the bench to score 10 points in nine minutes.
The Kings have been one of the league's poorest shooting teams early in the season, but made 56 percent of their field-goal attempts in the first half. The Hawks also shot well with just under 54 percent of their attempts finding the nets.
Sacramento shot 15 of 21 in the second quarter as it outscored Atlanta by a similar 36-24 advantage as the Hawks had in the first quarter.
The Kings reserves made 11 of 20 shots and scored 32 of the team's 56 points. Meanwhile, Atlanta's reserves scored just 14 of its 58 first-half points.
NOTES: The Kings are playing their second game at Sleep Train Arena during a stretch that includes seven of eight at home. ... Atlanta's Josh Smith is tied for third among active players in shot blocking. ... Sacramento's Francisco Garcia and Atlanta All-Star center Al Horford are teammates on the Dominican Republic National team.

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