Hawks-Kings Preview

The Associated Press

After a sluggish start in their last game, the Atlanta Hawks know they need to come out strong from the get-go.

A matchup against the Sacramento Kings could be just what they need to regroup.

Hoping to snap their worst road start in six seasons, the Hawks go for an 11th consecutive win over the Kings on Tuesday night.

Atlanta (1-2) opened a three-game road swing with Sunday's 105-103 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers. Kyle Korver had 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting, going 6 of 6 from 3-point range, as the Hawks erased a 21-point deficit before coming up short.

"We can't put ourselves in that situation, to always climb uphill," said forward Paul Millsap, whose team entered the second quarter down 33-22. "We have to do a better job of starting the game off."

The Hawks are 0-2 on the road for the first time since opening 0-4 in 2007-08, and including last season's playoffs, they've dropped 14 of 18 away from home. However, they have to be feeling good about getting back on track against the Kings (1-2).

Atlanta has averaged 111.6 points in taking 10 straight from Sacramento, most recently winning 122-108 on Feb. 22.

Jeff Teague had 20 points and 12 assists in that game while Al Horford scored 24. Korver made two 3s, giving him 11 on 17 attempts (64.7 percent) in his last three matchups against the Kings.

Korver, averaging 19.5 points in the last two games, has gone 12 for 18 from beyond the arc this season.

"There's a few things they can do to get a guy like that open," Lakers guard Xavier Henry said. "If they want to get someone open, they can set enough screens to do that. He was running around them and finding his way."

Korver will try to stay hot against a Kings team that has struggled to contain opponents from outside. After allowing the Clippers to go 12 for 24 from long distance in Friday's 110-101 loss, the Kings surrendered 11 3s on 27 attempts in Saturday's 98-87 defeat at Golden State.

Rookie Ben McLemore scored a team-high 19 points off the bench as Sacramento's starting lineup was limited to 22 on 9-of-36 shooting.

"Tonight was the one game that stands out that we were not ready to play," first-year coach Mike Malone said. "I thought our energy, the fact that we were not ready to play, is what set the tone.

"No resistance, no fight, no pride. If we think that we can show up to a very good basketball team in their house and just go through the motions, what's going to happen is what happened tonight."

The Kings now return home, where they won eight of their final 11 games against Eastern Conference foes last year.

Center DeMarcus Cousins posted a combined 54 points and 24 rebounds in the first two games before being held to eight and seven in 18 minutes Saturday. He is averaging 21.4 points, his third-highest mark against any team, and 11.2 boards in five career games versus Atlanta.

Horford is averaging 22.3 points on 59.2 percent shooting in his last three meetings with the Kings.

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