by Matt George
After going 2-4 on their longest road trip of the season, the Sacramento Kings returned home for their second meeting with the Atlanta Hawks. Sacramento dominated the first meeting, winning 146-115, and with the exception of the first quarter Wednesday night, it was smooth sailing again. With their 135-113 victory, the Kings have completed the season sweep over Atlanta, and will start February with a 26-25 record, the first time they have been over .500 in that month since 2005.
The young Sacramento rookies put on a show, with Harry Giles dropping a career high 20 points on just 12 shots in 20 minutes, and Marvin Bagley collecting another double double; 17 points and 12 rebounds.
“Marvin Bagley had his best game as an NBA player,” said head coach Dave Joerger, “Same with Harry Giles”.
“I didn’t even really know I had 20 until I sat down,” said Giles, “I needed those three boards though to complete my night”.
The pair, along with Yogi Ferrell, provided a much needed spark in the first and second quarters, after Sacramento got off to a slow start. After barely topping Atlanta 32-31 in the first quarter, the Kings outscored their opponents 73-49 in the second and third frames.
Sacramento’s bench outscored Atlanta’s bench 80-49.
“I just know how much better we can get. Just gotta stay patient…” said Giles.
As impressive as he was on offense, Bagley also shined on the defensive end of the floor, significantly slowing down Atlanta big John Collins.
“It’s something that I have been working on every day,” said Bagley, “Something that I love doing; getting stops. I’m definitely getting used to it now”.
A good start for the Kings’ six game home stand, Sacramento hosts the talented Philadelphia 76ers inside the Golden 1 Center on Saturday.