Hawks End Losing Streak

By Rebecca Washney

ATLANTA—The Atlanta Hawks ended their four-game losing streak with a 129-80 win over the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night.

After four close matches that ultimately ended in Hawks losses, a record-breaking win was exactly what the Hawks needed to boost their spirits.

The game marks the Hawk’s first home win of the season and their largest margin of victory in franchise history.

In the only game this season in which they have been the favorite, the Hawks took the lead early and never gave it up. They moved the ball quickly and decisively, creating a lot of space and sinking their first eight shots.

“That was super important,” Hawks point guard Kent Bazemore said. “That’s the way we wanted to come out. They never really recovered.”

Center Dewayne Dedmon managed a double-double in the first quarter with 18 points and 11 rebounds. He also racked up three assists, two steals, and a three-pointer in the first half.

“My teammates were spotting me, and we got the ball moving, and we just played some good basketball,” Dedmon said.

The second quarter saw just as much movement, with the Hawks continuing to move into space and draw out defenders. They ended the first half with a nice cushion of 29 points, the total score at 65-35.

“On both ends of the court, the defense was really great, and then offensively we were sharing the ball, waiting for the perfect shot,” Patrick St. Andrews, a Hawks assistant coach, said.

The Hawks slowed down slightly in the third quarter, but the Kings barely put up a fight, and there was no hope for a comeback. Dennis Schröder played a huge role in calming down the play, racking up 12 of his total 21 points in the third quarter to close it out with a 31 point lead, 92-61.

The Kings shot just 35.2% and allowed the Hawks to shoot an amazing 63.3% overall and 50% from three. Eight Hawks players finished with double digits, compared to just two from the Kings.

“It definitely feels good, but you know we’ve got to take this momentum and keep it rolling to the next one,” Dedmon said.

Dewayne Dedmon put up a career-high  20 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks. Schröder had a great night as well with 21 points and eight assists.

Luke Babbitt also made an impact, in the first quarter. He made seven straight shots and totaled 13 points overall before leaving the game after the first half due to back spasms.

“Our chemistry is starting to grow, on both ends of the court, communicating on defense and then playing together more offensively with our motion,” St. Andrews said.

The Hawks depth was bolstered by the return of Ersan Ilyasova, who was out for eight games due to a bone bruise on his knee. Ilyasova had one point and seven rebounds in a mere 13 minutes of play.

Rookie John Collins had 14 points, Isaiah Taylor had 12, and Marco Belinelli and Malcolm Delaney had 10 points each.

Atlanta skated towards an easy win and the largest margin of victory in their history, the final score at 126-80. The victory brings the Hawks record to 3-12, and drop the Kings to a 3-11.

The Hawks will face off against the Boston Celtics and their impeccable defense Saturday, Nov. 18, at Philips Arena.

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