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Hawks lose back-and-forth game in Sacramento, 110-108

Atlanta Hawks v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks continued their eight-game road trip on Wednesday with a visit to Sacramento. While much of the NBA’s attention was on Thursday’s trade deadline and all that could transpire from a transactional perspective, the Hawks aimed to bounce back from a disappointing loss on Monday, all while looking to sweep the Kings in the two-game season series. Though the Hawks had chances in the fourth quarter, the end result was unfavorable, with Atlanta losing by a final score of 110-108.

The Hawks stumbled, albeit slightly, out of the gate and trailed 8-3 after the first few minutes. Atlanta did find solid footing in short order, putting together a 9-2 run to erase the small deficit.

Clint Capela was generally dominant in the early going, pulling down six rebounds and producing two dunks in six minutes.

Defense was a problem for Atlanta, though, as Kings guard De’Aaron Fox scored 15 points in the first 10 minutes to lead the home team. Sacramento took a 29-21 lead late in the first quarter, prompting a timeout from Nate McMillan, and the Kings scored more than 1.4 points per possession to that point in the game.

Following that stoppage, things improved for the Hawks, with the Kings failing to score again in the first quarter and Atlanta closing with the final six points to cut the margin to two. Part of that surge came from Bogdan Bogdanovic, who scored seven first-quarter points in his first game in Sacramento since leaving the Kings in free agency.

The Kings nudged ahead at the start of the second quarter, but the Hawks kept things close behind strong play in the paint. Clint Capela and John Collins led Atlanta to 22 points in the paint in the first 18 minutes.

While the Kings maintained the advantage for most of the half, the Hawks finished strong. Atlanta scored the final six points before halftime, tying the game, and the flurry came along with some highlights.

The third quarter was more of the same in terms of the back and forth nature. Sacramento took a four-point lead, only to see it erased when the Hawks scored 11 points in a five-possession span. When that run ceased, the Kings then inched ahead again behind continued fantastic play from Fox.

While Atlanta’s offense was better to start the second half, things collapsed later in the third quarter. The visitors didn’t score for more than five minutes to end the quarter, and the Kings put together an 11-0 run to take a double-figure lead to the closing period.

In “game of runs” fashion, the Hawks threw a counterpunch with a 9-2 run to begin the fourth quarter, taking advantage of a stretch with Fox on the bench. Atlanta continued to chip away and, with 6:31 to go, Bogdanovic converted a three-pointer to give the Hawks the lead.

The Kings did respond, scoring seven straight to take a 100-94 lead and putting the Hawks back on the ropes with fewer than five minutes remaining. Atlanta did come back to tie the game at 108-108 with the help of a very deep three-pointer by Young.

From there, only two points were scored in the game, but both were scored by the Kings. Tyrese Haliburton converted two free throws with 36.6 seconds to go, and that was followed by a missed floater by Young. Atlanta did get the stop they needed to keep the door open but, in the final seconds, Danilo Gallinari missed a potential game-tying jumper.

Capela led the way for the Hawks with 25 points and 18 rebounds, with Young adding 29 points and nine assists. Bogdanovic also shined in his return to Sacramento, scoring 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting with four three-pointers.

After leaving Sacramento, the Hawks will travel to San Francisco to face the Stephen Curry-less Golden State Warriors in a nationally televised tilt on Friday.

Stay tuned.