A. Horford (ATL): 25 pts, 10 reb, 5 ast, 4 blk
D. Cousins (SAC): 28 pts, 7 reb, 6 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]
The first quarterof this game was a nice sample tasting of Atlanta’s season. Coming out of the gates with a roaring start, the Hawks were outpacing the Kings handily for the beginning nine minutes of the initial period. This lead to an 26-12 lead, and Mike Malone burning a second timeout fast. After that timeout however, things started to unravel. Isaiah Thomas got loose, and Atlanta’s offense stagnated behind three turnovers in the last two-and-a-half minutes in the quarter. At the end of the first, the Hawks fourteen point lead was reduced swiftly down to two.
For the second and third quarters, the game went back-and-forth. Atlanta pushed away every Sacramento attempt to overtake the lead in the second, until finally relinquishing it at the very end to be down 54-53 at halftime. As for the third, the ball-movement for the Hawks stagnated and they found themselves down 74-69 before closing down the gap to 87-85 at the end of the third.
The last period was all about Mike Scott hitting the two threes early and never looking back. The Kings were playing the second game of a back-to-back, and the Scott deep balls seemed to be the backbreaker. Atlanta didn’t surrender the lead the rest of the way, putting them two game over .500.
Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]
Al Horford: Early on, Al didn’t have his mid-range jumper going. It wasn’t too much of a detriment however, as his 25 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 blocks statline lead the way for the team. He got all five of his assists in the first half, showing a resolve to help the team when he wasn’t making shots himself. He had a couple non-statsheet hustle plays to take note of too. A few rebounds he tapped back allowed for a couple extra possessions. Boogie certainly played a strong game and got some offensive rebounds himself, but that isn’t all on Horford. 8/10.
Paul Millsap: Millsap’s three ball was instrumental in the Hawks getting out to a hot start. He hit two threes at the end of that initial run, and he made one more in the second quarter. His three offensive rebounds were also key in neutralizing the strong effort the Kings made on their own offensive glass. Outside of that, it wasn’t his best game. There were a lot of moments where he tried to do too much with the ball either forcing a bad shot, a risky pass, or turning it over with a charge. 6/10
Jeff Teague: Risky passes defined Teague’s game. He tied his regular season career high with 15 assists, but with that also came six turnovers. What really stood out was his effort on the glass. Jeff being able to track down loose balls to secure possessions is what kept him valuable when he had some rough stretches. He also was nice defensively in the first quarter, and shot the ball extremely well early. A really solid night for Teague, here’s to hoping he keeps finding the 50/50 balls on long rebounds. 7/10
DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre guarded Rudy Gay tonight, to mixed results. Rudy went 8-13, but it isn’t all on Carroll. When in more halfcourt one-on-one situations, Gay was 4-8 outside the restricted area. Offensively, Carroll posted a strong 6-9 from the field. A pretty average game for the Junkyard Dog. 5/10
Kyle Korver: Kyle was fantastic tonight. His 8-10 mark from deep was influential on the win. A few off-ball lapses on McLemore defensively, but it was not a glaring issue tonight. 9/10. Continue Reading…