Even with Kyle Korver out to injury and Al Horford out for rest purposes, the Atlanta Hawks hung on to Monday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings to get the 110-103 victory.
The first quarter of this game helped signify that it would be a close affair all night. The Kings were shooting well and playing with pace on offense. DeMarcus Cousins was a load early on both offensively and defensively; at one point, he blocked shots on consecutive Atlanta possessions and simply made the Hawks look silly in their offensive attempts. Thankfully for the Hawks, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap were able to make shots and take advantage of some mismatches, leading to the two scoring eight points a piece in the quarter.
The Hawks started to pull away in the second quarter, largely thanks to the play of one Jeffrey DeMarco Teague. Teague’s agressive play, combined with the defensive intensity of Kent Bazemore, allowed the Hawks get an advantage, resulting in a 53-47 lead at halftime.
The third quarter was a repeat of the first… almost literally. The Kings won the first quarter 29-28 and they won the third quarter by the same score. Jason Thompson and Andre Miller started making their impacts in this period, as their play sparked a 16-7 mini-run by Sacramento that allowed the Kings to stay in the game. This run was despite DeMarcus Cousins nearly having a meltdown, as the former Kentucky product recorded four turnovers, four fouls, and one technical foul in the period.
The Thompson-Miller led Kings continued into the fourth quarter, which in a way spelled doom for Sacramento. Nothing against those two players, but they simply were not enough to overcome the more talented and balanced Hawks. The Kings kept the game close until the end, but eventually the fouling-game took over as the Kings could not muster up enough to take a lead.
The star of the whole game was really Millsap, who despite some foul trouble in the later goings of the game, was getting whatever he wanted against Thompson and Carl Landry. Millsap finished with 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting, 10 rebounds, and four assist. He was also a team-high plus-11 for the night.
It was good to see another good game from Shelvin Mack, who will likely be getting an increase in minutes until Kyle Korver comes back from his broken nose. Mack was 5-for-10 from the field for 13 points and per the usual, he did not turn the ball over once.
Mike Muscala played alright in his 18 minutes on the court, but as someone on Twitter pointed out, his “dunked on” to minutes ratio is not something he is likely proud of. Muscala was on the receiving end of a sick dunk by DeMarcus Cousins in the third quarter.
The Hawks have two games left on this west coast swing: one in Oakland against Golden State on Wednesday and the finale in Oklahoma City on Friday. Both should be fun matchups.