Hawks, fans happy to see Kings’ Kevin Huerter again

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Kevin Huerter returned to Atlanta on Wednesday, for the Sacramento Kings’ only game at State Farm Arena, and left disappointed as his team lost 115-106. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak by the Kings, tying their longest streak since an eight-game streak in 2004.

Huerter shot slightly less effectively than his early-season averages of 50% on field goals and three-point shots. He converted 4-of-10 field goals and went 3-of-7 on three-point shots, finishing with 13 points, five assists, and five fouls.

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Although Huerter did not perform as he would have liked, he still was able to take in the crowd and his feelings after being traded in the offseason to the Kings after three years with the Hawks.

“It felt good, it was nice to see some familiar people and see old teammates,” Huerter said after the game. “Everyone was good, the crowd was good to hear, going through the pregame and starting lineups.”

There was a lot of love from his former teammates in the pregame warmups with Hawks players John Collins, Clint Capela, and Trae Young making sure to talk to Huerter on the court before the game tipped off.

It was not just the players that missed and appreciated Huerter either. His former Hawks coach, Nate McMillan, talked about Huerter’s return too.

“He’s one of my favorite guys,” McMillan said. “Kevin plays the game the right way, he gives everything he has on both ends of the floor. I enjoyed working with him and coaching him, the success that he’s having is really not a surprise.

“He played a major part two years ago when we had that success, getting to the Eastern Conference finals, and last year when we were able to get back to the playoffs. He was one of my favorite guys to coach.”

As much love as the players showed the former Hawk, the fans were equally as affectionate for “Red Velvet”, giving him a warm reception as his name was announced pregame.

Hawks 115, Kings 106

During the game’s first timeout, a video tribute dedicated to Huerter played in the arena as Hawks fans were able to show appreciation for the player.

“As I was walking out of the timeout, I definitely heard them, acknowledged them,” Huerter said. “They have shown a lot of love to me the last four years, over my time here. Loved it, the fans are great to me so definitely appreciated that.”

Despite being on the second half of consecutive games, Huerter spent part of his time pregame signing autographs for fans, showing his appreciation for the people that saw him develop after coming out of college at Maryland.

“I enjoyed my time here; I think people know that,” he said. “Loved the city, really embraced me. They were patient with us you know, gave us a couple years of losing and we were able to do some good things. I’ll always appreciate my time here and obviously miss it.