- Associated Press - Monday, October 31, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - Forget about Dwight Howard’s trouble at the line and Atlanta’s off night from the field. The Hawks settled down in time to secure their first 3-0 start in five seasons.

Howard had 18 points and Kyle Korver and Dennis Schroder scored 17 apiece, leading Atlanta to a 106-95 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday.

Every Atlanta starter scored in double figures, and the Hawks held Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins in check after he averaged 30 points in the Kings‘ first three games. He finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

The Kings scored 37 points in the third on their way to an 81-79 lead heading into the final period. But the Hawks closed with a flourish.

“Third quarter we didn’t keep our composure, fourth quarter we did,” Atlanta forward Paul Millsap said. “That team wants to make the game ugly. If you get caught up into that, then you’ll have a 37-point quarter, and we got caught up into it.”

Howard went 8 for 20 from the line, but also contributed 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. Millsap had 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Rudy Gay scored 22 points for Sacramento (2-2), and Matt Barnes had 14. Ben McLemore finished with 12 points.

The Kings were whistled for 34 fouls, and the Hawks went 29 for 47 at the line overall.

Sacramento led 83-81 in the fourth quarter when Millsap made a foul shot and Kent Bazemore connected on a 3 to give the Hawks the lead. Korver helped Atlanta hold on with another 3 with about four minutes left.

The Kings made just 6 of 18 shots in the final period.

“Where it ran back away from us was we fell in love with the jump shot, and stopped getting in the paint,” Sacramento coach Dave Joerger.

Millsap helped with the defense on Cousins, and also finished with eight assists, three steals and a blocked shot.

“He’s a special player,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “That third quarter I think got to him a little bit, and him not being on the court obviously impacts us.”


Kings: Cousins became the Kings‘ career leader with 246 double-doubles. Chris Webber had 245. Only Howard (267) and Kevin Love (266) have more double-doubles in the NBA since 2011.

Hawks: Atlanta has scored at least 53 points in the first half of all three games this season, and led each time.


Atlanta made a couple of moves after learning forward Mike Scott will be unavailable for about four weeks as he prepares to undergo a platelet replacement procedure to alleviate pain in his left knee. He was limited in the preseason, and missed the first two regular-season games. The Hawks re-signed forward Ryan Kelly, who was in camp with team after playing three seasons with the Lakers, and waived center Edy Tavares.


Former Hawks forward Josh Smith attended the game.


Last in the first quarter, Joeger pleaded to official Karl Lane: “My man over here (the scorekeeper) is running out of lead! Ten fouls in one quarter?”


Kings: Sacramento heads south to face the Heat Tuesday night on the second stop of a five-game road trip that will span seven days.

Hawks: The Lakers will make their lone visit to Philips Arena to face Atlanta on Wednesday.

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