When Josh Smith took the challenge of defending DeMarcus Cousins, the Atlanta Hawks finally took control against the Sacramento Kings on...
ATLANTA — When Josh Smith took the challenge of defending DeMarcus Cousins, the Atlanta Hawks finally took control against the Sacramento Kings on Friday.
Smith, who remained in Atlanta after being discussed in talks leading up to Thursday’s trade deadline, came through with his defense one day later.
Al Horford led Atlanta’s balanced scoring with 24 points and the Hawks beat Sacramento 122-108.
Jeff Teague had 20 points and 12 assists, and Smith added 18 points for Atlanta.
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Smith also had six rebounds and four assists, but coach Larry Drew talked about the decision made by the 6-foot-9 power forward to defend the 6-foot-11, 270-pound Cousins, the Kings’ high-scoring center.
Cousins had 26 points and 13 rebounds, but just four points in the final quarter.
Isaiah Thomas scored 30 points with nine assists to lead the Kings, who have lost four straight and eight of 10.
“We went away from what worked,” Cousins said. “We have a tendency to do that every game. I mean, if you haven’t learned yet, you ain’t trying to learn.”
Percentages: FG .432, FT .800. Three-point goals: 12-22, .545 (Thomas 4-6, Salmons 2-4, Thornton 2-5, Cousins 1-1, Fredette 1-1, Outlaw 1-2, Evans 1-3). Team rebounds: 9. Team turnovers: 16 (24 PTS). Blocked shots: 2 (Thompson 2). Turnovers: 15 (Cousins 4, Thomas 3, Evans 2, Fredette 2, Thompson 2, Outlaw, Thornton). Steals: 3 (Cousins 3).
Percentages: FG .533, FT .632. Three-point goals: 12-27, .444 (Stevenson 5-6, Harris 2-2, Korver 2-7, Jenkins 1-2, Tolliver 1-3, Teague 1-5, I.Johnson 0-1, Smith 0-1). Team rebounds: 5. Team turnovers: 6 (3 PTS). Blocked shots: 9 (Teague 3, Tolliver 3, Horford 2, Smith). Turnovers: 6 (Teague 2, I.Johnson, Pachulia, Smith, Stevenson). Steals: 7 (Teague 3, I.Johnson, Korver, Pachulia, Stevenson).
|Sacramento||33||30||25||20 — 108|
|Atlanta||25||36||32||29 — 122|
Attendance: 15,031 (18,729). Time: 2:14. Officials: Ed Malloy, Matt Boland, Zach Zarba.