The Kings can’t win in Atlanta. Sacramento fought the good fight Monday night at Philips Arena, but they haven’t come away with a victory in Georgia since 2006. Despite a gritty effort, the Kings couldn’t overcome massive foul trouble, falling to the Hawks by a final of 106-95.
For one of the few times in recent memory, Dwight Howard got the best of DeMarcus Cousins. If Howard could shoot free throws, he would have had a monster night. He still managed to hit the Kings for 18 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, but his 8-of-20 shooting from the line was abysmal.
Howard led a group of six players to score in double-figures for Atlanta. In addition to Howard, the Kings gave sharpshooter Kyle Korver enough space to operate and he burned them for 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting from long range.
Rudy Gay continued his spectacular early-season play, fighting through foul trouble for a game-high 22 points on 8-for-13 shooting. But it wasn’t enough to slow the balanced Hawks attack.
Cousins managed to score a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double to pass Chris Webber (245) for the most double-doubles in Sacramento-era Kings history.
Ben McLemore looks like a different player through four games. The 23-year-old shooting guard provided a spark off the bench, dropping in 12 points in 25 minutes with the second unit.
Matt Barnes stuffed the stat sheet again with 15 points, three assists and five rebounds. Garrett Temple continues to provide support at the lead guard position. The veteran guard chipped in nine points and three assists in 24 minutes.
STANDOUT PERFORMER -- Gay is ready to play. When the Kings came out flat, the veteran wing kept it close, scoring 9 of the team’s first 13 points. In the third quarter he schooled defensive-minded Kent Bazemore and dunked all over Paul Millsap. Gay struggled with foul trouble, but he is playing at an elite level through four games.
TURNING POINT -- With the Kings stars on the bench, the Hawks jumped all over Sacramento at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth. Their 11-0 run put distance between them and the Kings while Cousins and Gay watched from the bench with five fouls each.
INJURY UPDATE -- The Kings continue to stay healthy as they trudge through their early season schedule.
WHAT'S NEXT -- Sacramento continues their five game road trip out East Tuesday night in Miami. They have stops in Orlando, Milwaukee and Toronto before heading home to take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 8.