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What we learned in Kings' narrow win over red-hot Hawks

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Kings' De'Aaron Fox

SACRAMENTO -- It’s too bad the Kings (19-25) and the Atlanta Hawks (22-22) don’t play more than twice a year, and it’s even more unfortunate that fans aren’t allowed to

De’Aaron Fox once again ran circles around his opponents, posting a huge night against the porous Hawks defense. It wasn’t easy, but Sacramento managed to edge Atlanta in a 110-108 win.

Led by a huge 25-point, 17-rebound double-double by big man Clint Capella, the Hawks stayed with the Kings down the stretch. Trae Young worked over Sacramento's defense, mostly using a floater in the key to score 29.

Former King Bogdan Bogdanovic added 20 points off the bench for the Hawks in his first game back in Sacramento, but it wasn’t enough for his new squad.

Here are three takeaways from the Kings' second straight win, and their fourth in five games.

Fire Fox

In case you missed the memo, Fox is becoming a star. The Hawks learned this lesson for the second time this month, as the 23-year-old dropped a cool 37 points in 40 minutes on Atlanta.

Once Fox got it going against Young early, the Hawks threw the kitchen sink at him. It didn’t help. Fox finished the first half with 24 points, and that was only the start.

Fox shot 13-for-20 from the field and 3-of-4 from 3-point range. He chipped in three assists and a steal in the win. He was unstoppable, even when the Hawks packed the lane, and he hit his free throws.

 

Clutch gene

If there is such a thing as a clutch gene, Kings rookie Tyrese Haliburton has it. Since joining the starting lineup, the 21-year-old guard has been fun to watch. He came up big when the Kings needed it Wednesday.

With the game on the line in the fourth quarter, Haliburton drilled a 3-pointer and was fouled on the play. He stepped to the line to give the Kings a four-point lead and some new life.

This wasn’t the only big moment for Haliburton. He finished the game with 17 points and seven assists, including a halfcourt lob to Chimezie Metu for the hammer.

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Cleaning the glass

Hassan Whiteside has been an adventure in his second stint with the Kings. He takes turns making unbelievable gaffes and then making up for it with incredible defensive plays.

In the first half, Whiteside was called for a three in the key, a lane violation and nearly took a Fox pass to the face while not paying attention.

But in the third quarter, Whiteside showed up, ripping down one rebound after another as the Kings built a lead. The veteran big finished the night with eight points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in 18 minutes. If this was his last game in a Kings uniform, he made the most of it.