Thursday 23rd November, 2017
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Kings, Hawks mired in dismal starts

Sports Xchange - Wednesday 15th November, 2017

ATLANTA -- The Sacramento Kings may be just the opponent that the Atlanta Hawks need to get their first home victory of the season.

The Kings take a seven-game road losing streak into Wednesday night's game at Philips Arena and have lost 10 straight in Atlanta.

Sacramento's 3-10 record this season is slightly less dismal than Atlanta's 2-12, but the Kings' futility in Atlanta at least gives the Hawks a historical edge.

The Kings are 5-25 at Atlanta since moving to Sacramento for the 1985-86 season and their last victory came on March 3, 2006.

Of course, the Hawks have had much more overall success during most of that stretch, going to the playoffs the past 10 seasons and reaching the Eastern Conference Finals three years ago after a 60-win season.

Both the Hawks and Kings are in rebuilds this season and victories have been as hard to come by as expected.

The Hawks won their opener at Dallas and have just one win since, a 117-115 shocker against the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Nov. 8 that ended an eight-game losing streak.

Four consecutive losses have followed and the Hawks are the only NBA team without a home victory, although they have played just four times at Philips Arena. Six of the next seven games are at home.

The Hawks, who have at least kept most games close, made 39 3-pointers during a three-game road trip that concluded Monday in New Orleans and still have nothing to show for it.

Four of the Hawks' 17 3-pointers in the 106-105 loss to the Pelicans came from 6-foot-9 rookie forward Tyler Cavanaugh, signed earlier this month to a two-way contract that will have him playing mainly with Erie of the G-League.

"It's one of those good stories," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said after Cavanaugh's 16-point game. "Certainly, frustrated that we weren't able to find a way to get the win. ... We've got to find those spots sometimes when you're frustrated or having a tough night -- and Tyler was certainly one of those guys tonight."

The Kings haven't won away from Sacramento since their road opener at Dallas and have lost by 27 and 18 points in the first two games of their current three-game swing.

At least veteran guard George Hill regained his shooting touch in Monday's 110-92 loss at Washington, scoring 16 points while making all three of his shots from behind the 3-point arc.

Hill, who averaged 16.9 points for Utah last season, is scoring just 8.2 per game with the Kings and had struggled with his shot since the opening week.

The advice that Hill has been getting apparently paid off.

"'Look to score first, try to make passes second,'" Hill said of the message after the game. "That's what I was trying to do."

Veteran Vince Carter has missed the Kings' past four games because of kidney stones.

The Hawks signed Cavanaugh because they have been without frontcourt players Ersan Ilyasova (knee), Mike Muscala (ankle) and Miles Plumlee (quad).

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