NORTH NATOMAS — It was a battle right down to the wire, but the Sacramento Kings hung on to beat the Atlanta Hawks 91-88 on Jan. 21 for their longest winning streak of the season.
After coming off three straight victories on the road, the Kings notch the fourth at Sleep Train Arena in front of 17, 019 fans. The Kings last four-game victory stretch was in March 2015.
“We won the game (Thursday night) with our defense,” Kings coach George Karl said. “Our offense was out of sync and out of flow. But I like this win. I’m probably happy with it as I’ve with it in a while.”
DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists for the Kings (19-23), who are now firmly in the eighth spot of the Western Conference if the NBA playoffs started today.
Rajon Rondo finished with a triple-double in the victory, recording 11 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. Rookie Willie Cauley-Stein had 12 points and 11 rebounds in 30 starter’s minutes.
“We’re starting to figure out each other and how everybody plays,” Cauley-Stein said. “The group that play well together is the group that defends really well together. It’s showing on the court how comfortable we are playing with each other now.”
Paul Millsap had 14 points, 14 rebounds, and five steals for the Atlanta Hawks (26-18), who also came off a victory in Portland the night before. The Hawks had 1.9 seconds to get a shot off to tie the game, but Millsap turned the ball over.
“I think the play broke up. I was supposed to get a catch and drive to the basket,” Millsap said. “I may have lost the ball on my footing or something like that. I just don’t know. It was a funky play.”
Rondo’s triple-double is his fifth of the season and ties Chris
Webber for the most in a season in the Sacramento era. Cousins registered his 24th double-double of the season. He also has nine straight games in that category.
Rudy Gay sat out of the game due to a left heel contusion. The game marks the third time he has not played this season.
By Antonio R. Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer