The Atlanta Hawks improved to 3-0 this season after a Monday night win in Atlanta over the Sacramento Kings. Here are three takeaways from the game.
The Atlanta Hawks are 3-0 after Monday night’s win over the Sacramento Kings. It wasn’t exactly a pretty one for the Hawks, who lost control of the game when they allowed the Kings to score 37 points in the third quarter. The Hawks let the Kings within 90-88 in the fourth quarter before running off eight straight points to regain control and ultimately win the game 106-95. Nonetheless, a win is a win, and the Atlanta Hawks are off to their best start in six NBA seasons.
Fouls Take a Toll on the Hawks
Fifty-four fouls, to be exact. This game featured a total of 54 personal fouls, 34 of which were on the Kings. The Hawks went to the free-throw line 25 times in the first half, yet they made just 12 of those. Early on, the Kings had seemingly found a way to get themselves back into the game: foul Dwight Howard. Howard was just 3 of 12 Monday night, including missing both attempts on three straight trips to the line.
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By the end of the night, the Hawks had ventured to the free-throw line a total of 47 times – the most since having 47 in a win over the Utah Jazz in 2012. The Hawks were 29 of 47 from the free throw line while the Kings made 13 of 19 foul shots.
Hawks Three Key Players vs. Kings:
- Paul Millsap remains tried and true for the Hawks as the game leader with impressive stats across the board. Millsap had 13 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists, three steals and one block. He is currently averaging 19.3 points per game.
- Forget about his trouble at the free-throw line; Dwight Howard redeemed himself with a double-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.
- Kyle Korver is on fire. Last season, Korver’s accuracy from three-point range had diminished, but that hasn’t been the case for the 35-year-old so far this season. Despite a quiet season opener, Korver is 8-of-12 in the last two games for the Hawks. In Monday’s win, he finished with 17 points (6-11 FG, 5-8 3Pt) and one steal in 32 minutes.
The other two starters for the Hawks, Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore also contributed double figures. Schroder finished with 17 points, five assists and three rebounds while Bazemore added 11 points, one assist and two rebounds Monday night.
Hawks Soar in Fourth Quarter
They may have struggled in the third quarter, allowing 37 points, but the Atlanta Hawks came back strong defensively in the final period. For the second straight game this season, the Hawks gave up just 14 points in the fourth quarter. So far this season in all three fourth quarters, the Hawks have outscored their opponents by a combined 90-47.
“Third quarter we didn’t keep our composure, fourth quarter we did,” said Paul Millsap. “That team wants to make the game ugly. If you get caught up into that, then you’ll have a 37-point quarter, and we got caught up into it.”
Noteworthy stats VIA Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
"* The Hawks have scored more than 100 points and held their opponents under the mark in all three games.* The Hawks have won each of their first three regular season games by double-digits for the first time since moving to Atlanta in 1968.* The Hawks held a 44-38 rebounding edge.* The Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins entered the game averaging 30 points but was held to just 14.* Millsap was a nominee for Player of the Week in the Eastern Conference. LeBron James won the honor."
Next up, the Atlanta Hawks will remain at home in Atlanta as they take on the 1-2 Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night. Catch the game at 7:30 PM on FOX Sports Southeast.