Tyrese Haliburton put Sacramento on top by sinking two free throws with 36.6 seconds remaining Wednesday, and the host Kings survived two subsequent Atlanta Hawks misses to escape with a 110-108 victory.
The game featured a point-guard duel between Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox, who finished with a game-high 37 points, and Atlanta’s Trae Young, who countered with 29 points and nine assists.
In the end, it came down to Haliburton and the Sacramento defense as the Kings won for the fourth time in five games. The Hawks dropped their second in a row immediately after an eight-game winning streak.
The Kings led 106-102 before 3-pointers by Bogdan Bogdanovic and Young sandwiched a Richaun Holmes hoop and drew the Hawks even at 108-all.
Haliburton then drew a shooting foul on Young and calmly dropped in his critical two free throws.
The Hawks had two chances to draw even, but Young couldn’t connect on a floater with 30.2 seconds left, and after a timeout with 6.2 seconds remaining, Danilo Gallinari misfired on a buzzer-beating jumper.
Fox’s 37 points came on 13-for-20 shooting, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range.
Haliburton finished with 17 points and a team-high seven assists for the Kings, who were playing the opener of a home back-to-back. They host the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.
Holmes totaled 16 points and Buddy Hield had 14 for Sacramento. Hassan Whiteside pulled a team-high 12 rebounds to complement eight points.
Clint Capela backed Young with 25 points and a game-high 17 rebounds for the Hawks, who were playing for the third time on an eight-game trip. It was Capela’s ninth 15/15 game of the season.
Bogdanovic had 20 points, Gallinari 12 and John Collins and Kevin Huerter 10 apiece for Atlanta.
After the game had been tied at halftime and seven minutes into the third period, the Kings used an 11-0 burst to take an 85-74 lead into the fourth quarter. Whiteside had two hoops and Hield sank a 3-pointer in the run.
The Hawks chipped away, however, and went ahead 94-93 on a 3-pointer by Bogdanovic with 6:31 to go, setting up the tight finish.
–Field Level Media