SACRAMENTO - This time the Hawks responded before they trailed by more than 20 points.
The Hawks used a big second-quarter run to erase an early 12-point deficit and defeated the Kings 105-100 Tuesday night at Sleep Train Arena. It marked the 11th straight time the Hawks have defeated the Kings, including six in a row in California.
The Hawks trailed the Lakers by 21 points Sunday before a furious second-half rally came up two points short.
Hawks general manager Danny Ferry was troubled after point guard Jeff Teague was injured making contact with a baseline ball boy during the first quarter. Teague suffered a left ankle sprain and briefly left for the locker room to be re-taped. He returned in the second quarter and led the Hawks decisive run.
Ferry was visibly upset after the incident and followed Teague into the locker room.
“The courts can be obstacle courses because of the cameramen and team staff parked around its perimeter,” Ferry told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s not safe. The league should address the issue more and I am hopeful they will in the near future. Until then teams need to do a better job enforcing the current standards. Player safety always has to be a huge priority.”
The Hawks (2-2) were led by Al Horford with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Paul Millsap also had a double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Teague added 18 points and 10 assists.
The Kings (1-3) were led by Isaiah Thomas with 26 points off the bench.
The Hawks started slowly and trailed by as many as 12 points early in the second quarter. The Kings took a 37-25 lead on Ben McLemore’s 3-pointer with 10:51 remaining but scored just four points – including just two field goals – the remainder of the half.
The Hawks outscored the Kings 29-13 in the second quarter to lead 54-45 at the intermission.
Teague had 14 points in the first half, including 10 in the second quarter after he returned from the sprained left ankle.
The Hawks pushed their lead to 82-65 after the third quarter. After scoring 32 points in the first quarter, the Kings combined to score 33 points in the second and third quarters. The Kings used a 23-7 fourth quarter run to pull within one point, 2:45 remaining.
Kyle Korver extended his streak to 77 consecutive games with a 3-pointer. He is now one behind Dennis Scott for the third longest and two behind Michael Adams for the second longest streak in NBA history.
The Kings entered the game tied for 28th in the NBA in opponent’s 3-point field goal percentage at .424.
“We talked to our team about it (Monday),” Kings coach Mike Malone said before the game. “I said ‘Right now, where are we getting hurt on defense?’ Some guys thought it was the paint. Obviously, it’s not the paint. It’s the 3-point line. … We have to do a much better job of being disciplined and identifying who the shooters are on the floor and take away those open looks.”