Who are these Kings?
Sacramento extended its win streak to five games Thursday night at Philips Arena, running over the Atlanta Hawks in a 146-115 schelacking. De’Aaron Fox was the star, but plenty of Kings stepped to the plate in the victory.
The win snapped an 11-game losing streak in Atlanta, dating all the way to the Rick Adelman era of Kings basketball.
Here are seven notes as the Kings move to 6-3 on the season.
Breakout game for Fox
You could see it building for the last two weeks. Fox was ready to break out and have one of those career-altering games.
In Atlanta, Fox took it all to a new level, setting new career highs in points, assists and rebounds, finishing with 31 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds for his first career triple-double.
On the defensive end, Fox locked down Hawks rookie Trae Young, helping to contribute to the first-round draft pick's eight turnovers on the evening.
Buddy is on fire
Buddy Hield scored 20 or more for the fifth consecutive game to help lift the Kings to victory. The confidence level is growing with the third-year shooting guard. Against Atlanta, Hield dropped in 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting with six assists and five rebounds.
Bjelica scores but struggles on the defensive end
So far this season, Nemanja Bjelica has been a huge surprise for Sacramento. The 30-year-old forward scored 19 points and dished out three assists in the win, but he was a target on the defensive end.
The Hawks worked to get him in switches all night, and when they had him isolated, they attacked him going to the rim. He needs more help in those situations.
Sneaky game for the rookie
With Fox, Hield and Bjelica putting up big numbers, Marvin Bagley’s night was easy to overlook. The 19-year-old dropped in 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting and added five rebounds in 24 minutes of action. He ran the floor and was active in the paint for another solid game off the bench for coach Dave Joerger.
Quiet night for Cauley-Stein
Willie Cauley-Stein has been really good for Sacramento this season. Against the Hawks, he posted a modest 12 points, six rebounds and three steals in 25 minutes. If this is a bad night for the Kings’ starting center, Joerger and his staff will take it.
Stat of the night
The Kings handed out an incredible 38 assists as a team, including 22 in the first half. There was very little defense played by either teams, but the assist numbers were off the charts.