Kings' comeback effort falls short vs. Hawks
Isaiah Thomas scored 26 points in a losing effort for the Kings against the visiting Hawks. (USATSI)
The Hawks (2-2) led by 17 points going into the fourth quarter but the Kings cut it to three with 32 seconds left. Isaiah Thomas had a chance to tie it with 3 second left but missed a 3-pointer and the Hawks beat the Kings for the 11th straight time, including six straight in Sacramento.
DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings leading scorer, had 11 points and six rebounds. A frustrated Cousins was called for three quick fouls early in the fourth quarter, and he went to the bench for good at the midway point of the period.
Cousins made his first three shots in the game's opening minutes, but didn't score again until getting a 3-point play at the 11:21 mark of the fourth quarter.
Using a suddenly energized defense, the Kings scored 11 straight points, cutting the Hawks lead to 96-95 at the 2:45 mark of the fourth on a fast-break layup by Thomas.
With Atlanta's lead reduced to one point, Millsap hit and 8-footer and added a free throw for a 99-95 lead.
Trailing by 17 point entering the fourth quarter, Thornton made a three and followed with a breakaway layup, pulling the Kings to 96-89 with 4:03 remaining.
Horford scored nine points in the third quarter and Korver had seven for the Hawks, who took an 82-65 lead into the fourth.
After dominating the second quarter, the Hawks controlled the third. Getting numerous open looks against the Kings' lackluster defense, Atlanta produced a 19-6 run for a 75-56 lead at the 4:47 mark of the third.
Korver connected on his first 3-point attempt early in third quarter, extending his streak to 77 straight games, the fourth longest in NBA history and one less than third place Dennis Scott. Dana Barros holds the NBA record with 89.
Teague, the Hawks' leading scorer, sprained his ankle in the first quarter and his return was questionable. But he re-entered the game in the second quarter.
Teague scored 14 points and Millsap had 13 in the opening half. The Hawks trailed the entire half until the midway point of the second quarter. They ended up outscoring the Kings 29-13 in the second to take a 54-45
lead into halftime.
McLemore had 12 first-half points for the Kings, who had 12 turnovers. The Kings are in the midst of a seven-game stretch in which they play six home games. Their only away game is Friday at Portland. The two teams play again Saturday night in Sacramento.
NOTES: Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather was sitting in a courtside seat. . Kings rookie point guard Ray McCallum dressed for the first time this season, replacing center Hamady Ndiaye on the active roster. . Salmons had seven points in the first quarter and the Kings shot 12 of 22 in leading 32-25. . Atlanta concludes a three-game road trip Thursday night in Denver.