The Atlanta Hawks are the first team to hit 50 wins on the season, as they put in 20 threes in a start-to-finish routing of the Sacramento Kings.
After taking time off to remedy a shooting slump, Kyle Korver went 6-for-8 from behind the arch to score 20 points. The league’s best three-point shooter had nothing but easy looks at the basket, as the Hawks had 42 assisted buckets on the night, a season-high in team assists.
Sacramento had 21 assists to 16 turnovers, as ball movement was inconsistent and mostly resulted in bad passes toward the perimeter, which Dennis Schroder and Jeff Teague picked off for transition baskets. Each had two steals on the game.
Teague scored 18 points on 11 attempts from the field, including two three-pointers which piled onto the team’s shooting performances. He and Schroder combined for 21 assists.
Al Horford gained the upper hand in his matchup with DeMarcus Cousins, who has won most battles with premiere centers. Horford, however, managed 18 points on just 13 shots, grabbed four rebounds, dished two assists, and had three blocks.
Atlanta put Horford in his favorite spots, as he dove toward the basket off of pick-and-rolls and found Paul Millsap, who had three makes from long-range, and others open from beyond the arch.
Ben McLemore struggled from the field for Sacramento, as he scored just 12 points on 16 shots, going 2-for-8 from long-range with two turnovers.
George Karl elected to give Nik Stauskas many of McLemore’s minutes after he continuously forced up bad shots, and he took advantage of the opportunity. Stauskas scored an efficient 10 points on five attempts from the floor, and made both of his three-point attempts.
Rudy Gay‘s play was the only real silver lining in this game for the Kings, as his 23 points led the team. He put in three three-pointers, and was Sacramento’s solitary player whose performance remained consistent.
Sacramento struggled to push the ball in transition as Karl has wanted to do so often in his time with the team. Passes were ill-advised and ultimately picked off by Atlanta guards, whose transition defense is likely the league’s best. Poor attempts to run the break only gave the Hawks easier looks from deep, but the damage was being done regardless. Whether in the half-court or fast-break, Atlanta was making their shots from all positions.