March 23, 2018, 12:30 am
The Golden 1 Center was shut down due to protests and just a couple thousand fans were able to witness the Kings face the Hawks. Those fans saw Sacramento handle Atlanta in an impressive manner as the team earned its 24th victory with a 105-90 win.
Sacramento’s defense limited a mellow Hawks’ offense to just 39.3 percent shooting, but the real key was the active hands on defense. The Kings forced the 12 turnovers and had seven steals, but the Kings notched nine blocked shots on the night as they protected the key for the majority of the game. They outscored their opponent 50-to-36 on the night as well.
In the first half, the Kings resorted to an array of one-on-one matchups and weren’t able to find much success. Skal Labissiere was predominantly taking the shots for Sacramento as he hoisted up 13 attempts from the field, connecting on just three.
Labissiere forced some attempts in the post as he tried to back down his defender and also settled for a closely contested fade-away that fell short. For the most part, his offensive attempts were guarded incredibly well and his misses were due to tough attempts rather than good looks.
After one quarter, though, the Hawks led just 28-25 but the Kings bench put together a tough second quarter and got the Kings the lead at the break. The bench put up 21 of the Kings’ 49 points as the team led by five at halftime.
One area the second unit really made a difference in was defense as they forced the Hawks into multiple turnovers and a pair of 24-second violations en route to securing the lead. In the second quarter, the Hawks scored just 16 points and held the Hawks scored for five and a half minutes in the latter part of the quarter.
With De’Aaron Fox struggling for much of the night, it was another rookie in Justin Jackson making his presence felt. He was especially noticeable in the third period as he scored 11 points in the period.
One issue the Kings had, however, was getting the ball to Jackson as he was in his zone. No plays were run for Jackson for the most-part and Bogdan Bogdanovic turned the ball over the time he attempted to feed the hot hand. Jackson finished the game with a career-high 20 points and didn’t score in the final period.
Jackson looked plenty comfortable on the night and hs stroke from beyond the arc looked fluid as well. He finished going a perfect 4-of-4 from 3-point land.
Among the players who also stood out, Kosta Koufos and Frank Mason. Koufos filled the stat sheet and finished the game with 14 points, 11 rebounds, four steals, four blocked shots and three assists. Mason stuffed the box as well with 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.