Korver's 28 points lead Hawks past Kings

Stan Awtrey, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks' offense depends on the 3-point shooting ability of guard Kyle Korver. On Wednesday, the veteran responded with a season-high 28 points, including eight treys, to help the Hawks shake the Sacramento Kings 124-107.
Korver scored eight straight points, which included two 3-pointers, during a 15-6 run to start the final quarter and erase a two-point deficit. Korver was 10-for-15 from the field and 8-for-10 on 3-pointers to match his career high.
"Kyle gets his 3s a lot of different ways," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "He gets them on ball movement, he gets him on screens, he gets them on offensive rebounds. He moves, he gets to the open spots and the players are looking for him."
Korver had two previous games with six 3s, one of them Dec. 4 when he scored 23 against the Los Angeles Clippers.
"I got a lot of good looks tonight," Korver said. "I usually don't get that many. That was a product of a lot of our spacing and just everyone knocking down shots. I haven't shot the ball as well as I would have liked, so it was nice to have a better game tonight."
The Hawks (14-12) won their second straight game and are averaging 114 points over their last three games. Center Al Horford scored 25 points, 13 coming in the final quarter, and grabbed 10 rebounds for his eighth double-double. Guard Jeff Teague added 18 points and tied his career best with 15 assists.
"Jeff had a great mindset," Budenholzer said. "He put the offense in his hands. He made a lot of good decisions and good plays."
The Kings (7-17) got 28 points from center DeMarcus Cousins, who added seven rebounds, six assists and a steal. Forward Rudy Gay scored 22 and guard Isaiah Thomas had his second double-double, tallying 20 points and 10 assists.
"We broke down completely defensively tonight," Cousins said. "Korver is a known shooter but we didn't defend him like he was. We just broke down. When you play against guys who are known shooters, you have to have more urgency than we did tonight."
The fourth-quarter defense was strong for Atlanta. Sacramento scored only 20 points in the final period after getting 33 in the third quarter. Cousins scored only four and Thomas only two points in the final period.
"The message was we were going to have to get some stops," Budenholzer said. "We were going to have to have a defensive quarter."
The Hawks also scored a season-high 39 points in the fourth quarter. It was the most points the Kings have allowed all year.
"I guess I'm not doing a good enough of a job to give our players a game plan that they can execute," Kings coach Michael Malone said. "And I'm not doing a good enough of a job explaining who the players are on their team who can make shots. I have to do a better job with my team to make sure they know who we're playing, who are their shooters, what our coverages are, so we don't give up a 39-point quarter."
Atlanta won the last 12 meetings between the two teams, including the last seven at home. Atlanta won 105-100 in Sacramento on Nov. 5.
NOTES: Atlanta was without F Cartier Martin and F Gustavo Ayon. Martin hurt his left ankle in practice on Tuesday and Ayon missed his fifth straight game with a left ankle sprain. Neither player is expected back for Friday's home game against Utah. ... Kings F Rudy Gay was questionable with a sore right knee, but he made his fourth start since being acquired from Toronto. Gay left Tuesday's game early after scoring only four points in 24 minutes. ... Atlanta F Kyle Korver extended his NBA-record streak of consecutive games with a 3-point basket to 95 when he knocked down a shot from the top of the circle. Korver has at least three 3-pointers in each of the last four games. ... The Hawks recalled first-round pick G Dennis Schroder from D-League affiliate Bakersfield and sent G Jared Cunningham down for an assignment. Schroder averaged 17 points 6.7 assists and 4.2 rebounds in his six-game stint with the Jam. ... Both teams play again Friday: Atlanta hosts Utah, while Sacramento is at Miami.

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