• There were a few reasons for the Kings to be optimistic after their loss to the Pistons Monday night, but the team will surely be eager to move on from a 16-point loss on their home floor. Beating any team in the NBA is expected to be a challenge for a team as young as the Kings, but a game against the Atlanta Hawks (21-50) presents a good opportunity for Sacramento to move past their most recent loss.

    The last matchup between these two came in mid-November, with the Hawks easily winning 126-80 in Atlanta. Dewayne Dedmon had one of his best games of the season, finishing with 20 points on 10 shots to go along with 14 rebounds.

    The Kings have struggled to defend opposing big men all season, but have shown some improvement in recent weeks. The Kings should put some extra attention towards making sure that Dedmon doesn’t have a similar impact tonight, but there’s reason to believe that he team will be much better equipped to handle him now than they were earlier in the season.

    Atlanta will also have some difficulties slowing down the Hawks perimeter threats. Dennis Shroeder and Kent Bazemore have been big contributors for the team in recent seasons, and Taurean Prince has been able to take over games on a fairly regular basis in the past few weeks.

    The loss of Garrett Temple tonight won’t make these three easy to deal with, but De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Justin Jackson have all shown the ability to defend the perimeter at a high level. Prince’s size and physical style of play may present some unique challenges for them, but if the Kings can keep his production to a minimum that should be good enough to get the win.

    Sacramento struggled on both ends of the floor in the earlier matchup between these two teams, but the roster has become much more consistent since then. A win won’t come easily for the Kings, but they should have a good shot at tying up the season series.

    PROJECTED STARTERS

    PG – De’Aaron Fox
    SG – Bogdan Bogdanovic
    SF – Justin Jackson
    PF – Skal Labissiere
    C – Willie Cauley-Stein

    INJURY REPORT

    Bogdan Bogdanovic (hamstring) – PROBABLE
    Iman Shumpert (knee) – OUT
    Zach Randolph (gastroenteritis) – OUT
    Garret Temple (ankle) – OUT

    HOW TO WATCH

    When: 7:00 p.m. PST (10:00 ET)
    Where: NBCS California

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