SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings like being in the playoff race. After a big win on Wednesday put them in sole possession of the 8th spot in the Western Conference, they picked up their fourth-straight victory on Thursday night against a quality Atlanta Hawks team by a 91-88 final.
The Hawks double-teamed DeMarcus Cousins every time he touched the ball, limiting the Kings’ All-Star center to just 10-of-25 shooting. Cousins still managed to finish with his 24th double-double of the season, dropping in a game-high 24 points. He added 15 rebounds and five assists in 39 minutes of action.
Rajon Rondo continued his assault on the Kings record books, handing out 10 or more assists for the 10th-consecutive game. The veteran point guard quietly picked up his fifth triple-double of the season as well, finishing the night with 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. His layup with 12.9 seconds remaining proved to be the game winner as the Kings snapped a 15-game losing streak to Atlanta.
With the bulk of minutes up for grabs at the shooting guard position, Ben McLemore continued his aggressive play tonight. The 22-year-old wing played the passing lanes and attacked the Hawks off the dribble. He finished with 14 points and chipped in four assists.
Rookie Willie Cauley-Stein dropped in his first career double-double Wednesday night in Los Angeles. He backed that up with another big 12-point, 11-rebound performance on Thursday.
Starting for the injured Rudy Gay, Omri Casspi added 13 points, five rebounds and five steals. His final theft of the night sealed the deal for Sacramento.
Paul Millsap paced Atlanta with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Al Horford added 11 points and eight rebounds while battling Cousins.
Dennis Schroder scored 12 and handed out four assists, while Kent Bazemore chipped in 11 as the Hawks had their own three-game winning streak snapped.
Cousins continued his strong play tonight in Sacramento, leading the Kings with 24 points and a big 15 rebounds. With the game on the line, his assist on the baseline to Rondo sealed the deal.
The Hawks had the ball down two with 12.9 remaining on the clock. They tried to free up Kyle Korver for a winning three, but Casspi came away with a decisive steal with just 3.3 remaining on the clock.
Rudy Gay missed the game with a left heel contusion. Rondo left the game momentarily and went to the locker room in the first half with a big toe issue, but he returned to the game soon after and played a total of 38 minutes. Eric Moreland (foot surgery) and Duje Dukan (lower leg) are both out indefinitely.
The Sacramento Kings return to their home floor on Saturday to face the Indiana Pacers in their second of three straight at home.