Improved Kings Will End 11-Game Losing Streak at Hawks

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 1:51 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 1:51 PM UTC

The Sacramento Kings haven’t won a game in Atlanta since 2006. That’s going to change on Thursday night in a matchup of rebuilding teams.

Sacramento (5-3 SU, 6-2 ATS) at Atlanta (2-5 SU, 2-5 ATS)Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ETFree NBA Pick: Kings ATSBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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The Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks were both terrible last season and certainly won’t be playoff teams next spring, but both have shown some positive signs of improvement and long-term hope as the Kings make their only visit of the year to Atlanta on Thursday.

These teams split last year, both in blowout fashion. The Kings won 105-90 at home. Justin Jackson had 20 points to lead Sacramento, while Buddy Hield (16), Frank Mason III (16) and Kosta Koufos (14) combined for 46 off the bench. The Kings attempted just nine free throws but made them all. Atlanta shot an ugly 33-for-84 from the field and was outrebounded by 11.

The Hawks won 126-80 at home early in the season – the Kings’ 11th straight loss in Atlanta. The 46-point victory was Atlanta’s largest against any team. The previous mark was 44 in a 141-97 win over Detroit on Feb. 7, 1994, and the St. Louis Hawks beat Baltimore 144-100 on Feb. 12, 1965. The Hawks made 50 of 79 (63.3 percent) shots from the field and 16 of their 32 3-point attempts. Eight players scored in double figures.

All-time in Atlanta, Sacramento is 5-25.

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Back ✌️ back ✌️ back ✌️ back pic.twitter.com/0y8G5uVu9x

— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) October 31, 2018
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Bagley vs. Young

The main story line here is the two good-looking rookies in Kings forward Marvin Bagley III, the No. 2 overall pick out of Duke, and the Hawks’ Trae Young, the No. 5 overall selection (via trade from Dallas) out of Oklahoma.

Bagley is coming off the bench for now, but that’s not likely to last long as the former Duke star is averaging 12.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. The Kings won their fourth straight (!) Tuesday night, 107-99 in Orlando. Bagley had 10 points and nine rebounds in 23 minutes. Hield had a season-high 25 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. He’s really breaking out this year and has scored at least 22 in his past four. The Kings have some talent, no doubt. They are two games above .500 for the first time since November 2014.

Atlanta lost a third straight Tuesday, 136-114 at Cleveland, which had been the NBA’s last winless club. The Hawks were outscored 78-57 in the second half in the second of a back-to-back. Young played well with 24 points and four assists after struggling the previous three. Alex Len blew up with 22 points and nine rebounds. Atlanta gave it away 23 times and allowed Cleveland 23 second-chance points.

The Hawks might be better than only the Cavs in the entire NBA. Atlanta ranks 23rd in scoring, 22nd in points allowed, 26th in rebounding percentage and 29th in turnovers.

  • Kings are 9-0 ATS in their last 9 vs. Southeast Division.
  • Hawks are 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 games following a up loss of more than 10 points.

The Kings are actually good? Wouldn’t go that far, and I wouldn’t start printing playoff tickets, but they will end their 11-game skid in Hotlanta for a Thursday NBA pick. Sacramento has been a good bet vs. the East since last year, covering 18 of the past 25.

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