By Charlie O. Mallonee
The Sacramento Kings returned to their home court on Wednesday night after going 2-6 on their longest road trip of the season. The team was in need of a rowdy home crowd and a big win.
Things started off rough
The Atlanta Hawks entered the game with a 16-33 record, but they did not start the game like a team that is in 12th place in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks opened up a 20-10 lead at the 6:36 mark in the first quarter as they were shooting near 70%. It appeared that the Kings were going to be in for a real fight as they opened their longest homestand of the season.
The Kings second unit stepped on the court and put some life into the game. By the time the buzzer sounded at the end of the first 12 minutes, Sacramento held a 32-31 lead.
The Kings made a statement in the second quarter
The Kings decided not to lift their foot off the accelerator in the second quarter. The team came out kept the pace fast and continued to score at will. They outscored the Hawks 35-22 in the quarter.
Sacramento outscored Atlanta 24-4 in the paint. They scored eight second chance points to none for the visitors. The Kings won the battle of fast break points 7-0.
Marvin Bagley III led the Kings scoring with nine points while Yogi Ferrell added seven. Hawks rookie Trae Young pace his team with 11 points.
At the half, Sacramento held a 67-53 lead over Atlanta.
The Kings poured it on in the third
Sacramento smelled the victory and decided to put the game away in the third quarter. Harry Giles III led the way for the Kings as he scored 12 points in just over 10 minutes on the floor. Giles went a perfect 6-for-6 shooting in the period.
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 10 points in just under eight minutes of playing time. “Bogi” hit 3-of-5 shots including one 3-pointer. He also went a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line to go along with his three assists.
The Kings outscored the Hawks 38 to 27 in the period and led the game 105-80 after 36 minutes of play.
The fourth quarter was “garbage” time
That is really not a fair description of the final 12 minutes because there were players who received an opportunity to play that have not had the chance to see the court for a while. All 13 active players on both benches saw playing time in this game.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Kings had won the game 135-113. Sacramento is now 26-25 on the season and is tied for ninth place in the Western Conference with the Lakers just two games out the eighth and final playoff spot.
Atlanta now has a record of 16-24 and is eight games out of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference.
Kings Top Performances
- Harry Giles III scored a team-high and a career-high 20 points in the game. He shot an impressive 10-for-12 in the game and added seven rebounds.
- Marvin Bagley III had a double-double game scoring 17 points off the bench to go with 12 rebounds (five offensive rebounds).
- Buddy Hield put 18 points in the book. He went 6-for-11 shooting, including going 4-for-8 from behind the 3-point line.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic recorded 16 points and added seven assists.
- Rookie Trae Young scored a game-high 23 points and dished out eight assists.
- John Collins put up 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
- Alex Len scored 13 points off the bench hitting 6-of-10 shots.
- Jeremy Lin, who has been mentioned as a possible trade target for the Kings, scored 11 points.
- Points in the Paint: Kings 76, Hawks 40
- Second Chance Points: SAC 19, ATL 8
- Fast Break Points: Kings 25, Hawks 8
- Biggest lead: Sacramento 29, Atlanta 10
The Kings will be back in action on Saturday night when they will host the Philadelphia 76ers at the Golden 1 Center. Philly is 33-18 on the season and currently is in third place in the Eastern Conference.
The Hawks travel to Utah and will play the Jazz on Friday night.