The Atlanta Hawks look for their second straight win Wednesday night when they take on the Sacramento Kings at Philips Arena. The Hawks have won four of their last five games after Monday's 114-100 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Atlanta defeated the Kings in the first meeting this season 105-100 but this Sacramento team looks a bit different.
The Kings were the first team to jump into the trade season acquiring small forward Rudy Gay in a salary dump from the Toronto Raptors. The move has given Sacramento a little more balance offensively and has paved the way for Isaiah Thomas to become the clear cut starter at the point guard position. Gay is listed as questionable for Wednesday's game after leaving Tuesday's loss to the Bobcats early due to stiffness in his knee. The Kings fell 95-87 and dropped their record on the season to 7-16.
Since a stretch of five losses in six games, the Hawks have won four of five and are looking to climb above the .500 mark to stay. Atlanta enters Wednesday's game with a 13-12 record which is good for third in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta has gone 9-4 at home and is 5-1 over its last six.
If the Hawks are to win they will have to contend with DeMarcus Cousins who was frustrated and held in check in the first meeting. Cousins had just 11 points and six rebounds in 29 minutes in the first meeting with Atlanta. He spent most of the night in foul trouble and was visibly upset about an incident with Dennis Schröder that eventually led to a one-game suspension for the rookie.
Cousins is averaging a career-best 22.4 points per game while grabbing 11 boards a contest. He had 30 points, 17 rebounds and six assists in Tuesday's loss in Charlotte. Slowing him down will be a team effort for the Hawks with Al Horford called upon to do most of the heavy lifting.
Gustavo Ayon has missed the last four games with an ankle injury and is listed as questionable against the Kings. Gay is the most notable injury for the Kings but Carl Landry won't play due to a hip injury.
Game date/time: Wednesday, December 18, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: No TV
Radio: 92.9 FM "The Game"