Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 2/12

Game 1: Sunday, February 12th
Hawks84Final
Kings109
Game 2: Friday, March 3rd
Kings102Final
Hawks93

Hawks 84

(15-34, 4-20 away)

Kings 109

(23-28, 17-11 home)

Coverage: CSNS

6:00 PM ET, February 12, 2006

Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

1 2 3 4 T
ATL 23 17 21 2384
SAC 25 23 30 31109

Top Performers

Atlanta: J. Childress 13 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Stl

Sacramento: M. World Peace 20 Pts, 3 Reb, 6 Ast, 6 Stl, 1 Blk

Artest leads Kings past Hawks on both ends of the court

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Thanks in part to Ron Artest, Arco Arena is a fun place to be again.

Artest had 20 points, six assists and six steals to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 109-84 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night.

Since acquiring the controversial Artest for Peja Stojakovic in a Jan. 25th trade, the Kings are unbeaten in five home games and have won eight straight overall at Arco, where they were struggling for the first time in years.

"(Artest) definitely makes them a better team because they feed off his energy," said Hawks guard Joe Johnson, who had 13 points, but none after halftime when he was primarily guarded by Artest. "He's just coming out and making plays. He's not doing anything out of character. He's a good player."

Kevin Martin also scored 20 points for the Kings, who won for the fourth time in five games. Sacramento shot 52 percent, had 27 assists and played solid defense.

"We definitely gave 100 percent on defense," Artest said. "Atlanta is not the best team in the NBA, but we played well against them and got a convincing win."

Sharing the ball and continually making the extra pass, the Kings pulled away from the youthful Hawks in the third quarter, building a 79-51 lead. Martin scored 11 in the third and Brad Miller added nine points in the period for Sacramento, which made 13-of-22 shots.

"They had a lot of energy coming in the second half and we didn't do anything to counter that," Atlanta's Josh Childress said. "We let them be the aggressor and that's why they came out on top. We played like we were in quicksand tonight."

Miller finished with 15 points and nine rebounds and Kenny Thomas had 17 points and 10 boards for the Kings, who placed seven players in double figures. Mike Bibby scored 13 and Francisco Garcia and Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 10 points apiece.

Artest had a strong second quarter to help Sacramento take a 48-40 lead at halftime. He made two 3-pointers and scored all 14 of his first-half points in the period.

"It has been a little problem," Artest said of his outside shooting. "I'm taking them when they are there. I'm getting readjusted to everything on the court. It will come along."

The Hawks, who have the youngest team in the NBA, continue to struggle on the road, where they are 4-20 this season, including 0-12 against Western Conference teams.

Atlanta has two games remaining on a four-game trip, which concludes after the All-Star break.

"We've got to go back to the drawing board because I'm not pleased at all about the way we played and with our effort in the second half," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "We were lucky to be down eight at the half and it wasn't even close in the second half."

Childress scored 13 points, Salim Stoudamire had 12, Marvin Williams 11 and Josh Smith 10 for the Hawks.

Al Harrington, Atlanta's leading scorer, was never a factor, finishing 3-of-11 from the field and scoring nine points.

Game notes


Atlanta has lost five straight and nine of 10 against Sacramento. ... The Kings outrebounded the Hawks 53-41. ... Woodson played on the first Sacramento team in the 1985-86 season. ... The Kings face Chicago and Memphis on the road prior to the All-Star break. They beat both teams last week at home.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ATL
SAC
Points 84 109
FGM-FGA 31-79 (.392) 43-82 (.524)
3PM-3PA 4-12 (.333) 4-16 (.250)
FTM-FTA 18-21 (.857) 19-23 (.826)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-35 11-46
Assists 23 27
Turnovers 17 18
Steals 10 10
Blocks 3 4
Fast Break Points 13 18
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
Largest Lead 1 25

Top Performers

Atlanta
Sacramento
Josh Childress Childress
Points: 13
Reb: 4
Ast: 2
Stl: 4
Blk: 0
Metta World Peace World Peace
Points: 20
Reb: 3
Ast: 6
Stl: 6
Blk: 1