By Charlie O. Mallonee
There are three things you need to remember about the Kings victory over the Hawks on Friday night:
- Sacramento just finished a three-game road swing to the Eastern time zone and finished with a 2-1 record. That is something this team – that experienced a “stutter-start” to the 2019-20 season – can build on to turn fortunes around quickly.
- The Kings reached the 3 wins mark before the Golden State Warriors (2-7).
- Harry Giles III returned to action for the first time this season and H20 could play a key role for the Kings while they wait for Marvin Bagley III to heal.
It was a “nail-biter” in the 4th quarter
The Kings dominated the first half. They held a 63-47 lead at halftime, but no one thought that the Hawks would just roll over and play dead in the second half.
Atlanta served notice in the third period that they still thought that they could win the game by outscoring the Kings 36-28. Trae Young led the charge for the Hawks scoring 16 points and dishing out four assists. Young was on fire and the rest of his team followed his lead. Sacramento held a 91-83 lead after 36 minutes of play.
The Hawks continued their assault until they cut the Kings lead down to just one point with 9:03 left to play in the game. Bogdan Bogdanovic turned it around for SAC. “Bogi” hit a 26-foot, 3-point jump shot to give the Kings a 4-point lead and the momentum that had them build up a lead as large as 18 points down the stretch.
The Kings won the 4th quarter 30-26 with Bogdanovic scoring 11 points for Sacramento. The Kings went 7-for-9 from 3-point range and were a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line in the final period. That is how games are won.
Let’s hear for the SAC bench
The Sacramento starting five scored 70 points on Friday night. The Atlanta starters also scored 70 points. The difference in this game was the scoring of the players off the bench.
The Kings bench outscored the Hawks second unit 51-39. The Kings used five players off their bench:
- Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 20 points hitting 6 of his 9 shots from the floor. Five of his field goals were 3-point baskets.
- Trevor Ariza was also on fire from behind the arc. He went 5-for-7 from the field and four of his buckets were 3-pointers.
- Harry Giles III played just over seven minutes, but the important thing is that he played. Giles scored four points, grabbed a rebound and had one block shot. You could see the enthusiasm on his face at being able to be on the court and in the middle of the action.
The Hawks (3-5) are young and dangerous
The Hawks may well be where the Kings were two years ago. They are amassing talent and preparing to build a team that will be a force for five to seven seasons to come. Their current stars are:
- Trae Young who scored a game-high 30 points and made it a double-double night by dishing out 12 “dimes”. He is the real deal.
- Jabari Parker – who is in his first year with the Hawks – scored 25 points and added eight rebounds.
- Kevin Huerter was the key man off the bench for Atlanta by putting up 17 points in almost 30 minutes on the floor.
The Kings have a nice break as they will be off until Tuesday night when they will host the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Hawks will hit the road and will face the Trail Blazers in Portland on Sunday night.