Hawks drop second straight to lowly Kings

Nate McMillan

Leading up to the game, it was reported that John Collins would be staying in Atlanta through the deadline. Collins put out a pretty clear message yesterday in an interview with Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, in which he expressly stated he wanted to stay with the Hawks for his entire career. We’ll see if any other significant moves are made before today’s trade deadline, but ultimately it seems this team will stay together through the end of the season.

First Quarter

The Hawks went again with the same starting five they’ve had for the last nine games when healthy, consisting of Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, Tony Snell, John Collins, and Clint Capela.

Kevin Huerter scored the Hawks’ first points on the opening possession with a mid-range bucket; however, it wouldn’t be until the 9:00 mark that the Hawks would connect on another field goal.

From there, though, the team would settle down, going on a quick 9-2 run over the next two minutes. Clint Capela clearly came out in this one with a fire, as he threw down two massive dunks early on to go along with six boards in his first stint of the night.

Capela, Snell, and Huerter would be subbed out for De’Andre Hunter, Danilo Gallinari, and Bogdan Bogdanovic around the 5:00 mark. It would be Bogi’s first time playing in Sacramento since he was on the Kings in 2020, and he would score on his first shot of the night. Gallinari seemed to be moving fine after Sunday night’s scare, which is — of course — good news for the team moving forward.

To end the quarter, a point guard-less lineup of Bogi, Huerter, Hunter, Gallo, and Onkongwu would outscore the Kings 6-0 over the last two minutes, but the Hawks would still trail entering the second.

Second Quarter

De’Andre Hunter’s first points of the evening came on a mid-range jumper over Buddy Hield, which was a good sign, as the Hawks hope to see him continue his ascension. With 7:43 left, Trae Young and John Collins checked back in with the score tied.

Clint Capela was the Hawks’ best player in the first half, tallying a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards. Beyond just the numbers, though, he dominated both ends of the court for Atlanta, bothering the Kings’ big men all half. John Collins (10) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (11) both had excellent halves scoring as well.

Third Quarter

Each team came back with their starting units to begin the second half, but neither side came out particularly hot. Eventually, the Hawks were forced to take a timeout with 8:33 left in the quarter down four.

Atlanta was able to claw back and tie it over the next few minutes, but an 11-0 run by the Kings gave them a comfortable lead entering the final period. The Hawks did not make a single field goal over the final 5:32 of the quarter.

Fourth Quarter

Atlanta came out with some life after a mostly low-energy performance, cutting the lead to four in the early goings of the fourth. The Hawks went to the mid/low post with Gallo each possession to start the quarter, as they seemed to like his matchup.

After some back and forth from both squads, the Hawks took the lead back after a huge pull-up three from Bogdanovic came at the 6:20 mark. It would be Bogdanovic’s third three of the night and his 17th point.

A few possessions later, though, an 8-0 Kings run put them up six before a Capela dunk stopped the bleeding. With 3:41 to go, the Hawks called a timeout down by four.

After the break, the Kings went to the hack-a-Capela strategy a few times, which kept the Hawks at arm’s length and forced Nate McMillan to remove Capela from the game. 

Bogdanovic would sink a three to get within one, and on the very next Hawks’ possession following a Kings’ bucket, Young would tie the game from the logo — his first three-pointer of the night.

A pair of free throws from rookie Tyrese Halliburton saw the Hawks down two with 36.6 left in the ballgame. Trae Young missed a floater out of the timeout. However, an airball from the Kings gave the Hawks another chance with 6.2 seconds left.

Young had an opportunity to tie the game on the last possession but lost control while driving to the basket. What seemed like a clean rip at the time looked more like a foul upon review, but Young lost the ball out of bounds with 1.3 seconds. The Hawks did keep possession, but Gallo missed a long-two that seemed to come after the buzzer sounded, and the Hawks ultimately failed to complete the double-digit comeback.


While the Hawks played good basketball down the stretch, the lead Sacramento built during the third quarter proved to be too much to overcome. The Hawks had multiple dry spells offensively and struggled mightily to contain the Kings — De’Aaron Fox in particular.

Trae Young ended the game with 29 points and nine assists but shot poorly from three, going 1/7. Clint Capela poured in 25 points on 10/12 shooting to go along with 17 rebounds. However, his missed free throws late definitely cost the Hawks. 

Looking Ahead

The Hawks play on ESPN Friday night against the Golden State Warriors. Stephen Curry is projected to be out for this matchup. Tip-off is at 10:00 PM EST.

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