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Preview: Hawks to battle Kings as they look for fourth straight win

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NBA: Sacramento Kings at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks (17-20) will look for their fourth straight win as they take on the Sacramento Kings (15-22) Saturday evening in what will be the first home game of the second-half schedule. The Hawks beat the Toronto Raptors (in Tampa) on Thursday evening on Tony Snell’s buzzer-beating three-pointer.

It was an energizing win for the Hawks, who now sit as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race, and just a couple of games out of the No. 4 spot. Atlanta now sits with a slightly positive net rating (+0.2), ranking 11th in offense (112.7) and 22nd in defense (112.5).

Sacramento blew out the Houston Rockets 125-105 in their first game out of the break, but the Kings still sit 13th in the Western Conference standings. The Kings have the worst defensive rating (118.6) in the NBA, and it’s not particularly close as they are nearly two points worse than the New Orleans Pelicans.

Offensively, however, Sacramento ranks ninth as they score 113.6 points per 100 possessions. Their attack is led by De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes, and you could argue both Fox and Barnes are having career efforts on the offensive end.

It will be somewhat of reunion, of course, for Bogdan Bogdanovic, who spent the first three seasons of his NBA career in Sacramento before the Hawks lured him away in restricted free agency in the 2020 offseason.

The Hawks will look for their fourth straight win under interim coach Nate McMillan in an effort to further inch back into the playoff conversation.

Injuries

In the injury department, Onyeka Okongwu (right adductor soreness) is probable for Atlanta. De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Kris Dunn remain out.

For the Kings, Hassan Whiteside is out (health and safety protocol).

The Line

Atlanta opens as four-point favorites over Sacramento, for those who may be interested. Neither Okongwu or Whiteside changes the line much (if at all), so look for the spread to stay in that range.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Saturday, Mar. 13, 7:30 pm ET

Location: State Farm Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass (out of market)

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network

Streaming: Fox Sports Go