ATLANTA - The Atlanta Hawks had to scramble to overcome early 3-point shooting by the Sacramento Kings, but finally took control of the game in the fourth quarter to pull out a 122-108 win over the Kings Friday night at Philips Arena.
Al Horford, hampered by two fouls in the first four minutes of the game, recovered to lead the Hawks (30-23) with 24 points, 8 eight rebounds and six assists. Josh Smith, relieved not to have been traded in the middle of the season, scored 18 points.
Jeff Teague had 20 points and 12 assists, and DeShawn Stevenson's 17 points included five 3-pointers.
Isaiah Thomas, who came in averaging 12.3 points a game for the Kings (19-37), scored 12 points in the first quarter alone, and he finished with 30 points. DeMarcus Cousins scored 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and Tyreke Evans added 15 points.
The Kings jumped on the Hawks early, playing with more energy and running up and down the floor. Shooting 71 percent to the Hawks' 35 percent through most of the first quarter, they built a 13-point lead twice - at 3:20 and 1:11 -- before the Hawks were able to recover somewhat, narrowing the deficit to 33-25 by the end of the period.
But the Hawks rallied in the second quarter, thanks to Stevenson's three 3-point baskets and a 10-point quarter for Teague - and the fact that the Kings gave them 19 points off 12 turnovers in the half. The Hawks would have had a 64-63 lead on Smith's 3-point basket at the buzzer, except that there was a clock malfunction and the bucket was disallowed. So the Kings maintained a two-point halftime lead, 63-61.
Notes: The Kings were down three players; forward Patrick Patterson, center Cole Aldrich and guard Toney Douglas - acquired Thursday from the Houston Rockets - have not yet joined them. They are expected to meet their new team in New Orleans on Saturday. The Kings play the Hornets on Sunday. . . . Before the game, Kings coach Keith Smart shrugged off the depleted roster, noting that the starting unit was still intact and that the situation was no different than if he had three players too banged up to go. . . . Hawks coach Larry Drew had to wait until 6:40 to learn that the two players the Hawks acquired Thursday - guard Dahntay Jones from the Dallas Mavericks and forward/center Jeremy Tyler from the Golden State Warriors - had clearance to be activated. In the case of Jones, the Hawks were waiting for Anthony Morrow, who went to Dallas, to pass his physical there. Jones was active for Friday's game; Tyler was one of the Hawks' inactive players. . . . Drew said that because the newcomers hadn't even been able to walk through plays with the Hawks, "That's a high probability that they won't see action tonight." . . . Jones and Tyler arrived just in time to go on the Hawks' longest road trip of the season: six cites, 10 days. Their four huge rolling suitcases took up a large chunk of real estate in the Hawks locker room.