The Atlanta Hawks hosted the Sacramento Kings Friday night, looking to get back to .500 after slipping to 3-4 in a Wednesday night home loss to the Chicago Bulls. The Kings entered the night swinging the opposite direction, winning two of three after dropping the first four games of the season.
The Kings waited little time before going on a 15-2 run, taking control after a 6-0 Hawks lead in the opening moments.
Atlanta weathered the early storm, keeping the game within reach.
The Hawks cut the Sacramento lead to two by the 3:55 mark after trailing by as much as eight points early.
The Hawks trailed 31-24 after another Kings mini-run to close the first.
The Kings controlled the second period as well, leading 48-36 at midway point of the period. Atlanta struggled to get stops throughout the first half, and also shot poorly from three-point range, a trend throughout much of the season so far unfortunately.
A scorching Sacramento group took a 16-point lead over the Hawks into the half, 63-47. De’Aaron Fox led the way for the Kings with 12 points and five assists at the break.
Jabari Parker led all Atlanta scorers at the half with 14 points, while Young had eight points and six assists in 18 first-half minutes.
The Hawks fought back early in the third, making it an 8-point game after a 10-0 run.
Trae Young did a thing and the Hawks eventually scored.
The Atlanta defense seemingly survived the Kings offensive ambush in the middle of the third, allowing them to fight their way back into the game. Young hit a three to cut it to 82-77 in favor of the Kings with 3:06 remaining in the third.
Sacramento led 91-83 heading to the fourth after a Bogdan Bogdanovic three-pointer beat the third quarter buzzer. With the game seemingly out of reach early in the third, Atlanta did a nice job of hanging around and giving themselves a chance at a win. Young caught fire in the the third, scoring 16 points in the quarter.
The Hawks cut the lead to one at 94-93 at the 9:03 mark after a layup from Cam Reddish.
The Kings caught fire again from three-point-range out of a timeout, getting the lead back up to double-digits under the six-minute mark. Sacramento was shooting over 60% from distance more than 42 minutes into play.
From there, the three-pointers kept raining for the Kings and the Hawks were unable to complete the comeback effort, falling 121-109.
Young led Atlanta with 30 points, 11 assists and five steals, with Parker pouring in 23 points of his own. Buddy Hield paced all scorers for Sacramento with 22 points. Fox finished with 17 points and nine assists.
In a bright spot for Atlanta, Kevin Huerter had his best game of the young season, scoring 17 points on 6-for-10 shooting from the field.
The three-point shot was the story of the game, with the Kings finishing 18-for-31 (58%) from behind the arc compared to Atlanta’s 9-for-28 (32.1%).
The Hawks will fly to Portland Saturday morning, departing for a five-game west coast road trip. They face off with the Blazers on Sunday evening.