Preview: Kings at Hawks
After weeks of speculation, the NBA trade deadline passed with forward Josh Smith staying put. The pending free agent will continue to lead the Atlanta Hawks on Friday when they host the Sacramento Kings, who made noise at the deadline by dealing the fifth pick in the 2012 draft, forward Thomas Robinson, to Houston as part of a three-team trade. Atlanta has won nine straight games against Sacramento, including five in a row at Philips Arena.Atlanta, which is currently sixth in the Eastern Conference playoff race, is coming off a 13-point loss at home to Miami on Wednesday. Forward Al Horford is averaging 24.7 points and 10.3 rebounds over the last three games for the Hawks, who are 17-10 at home this season. The Kings have lost three straight, and they're beginning a stretch of five road games in eight days.TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet California (Sacramento), SportSouth (Atlanta)ABOUT THE KINGS (19-36): Most experts were puzzled by the move to give up so early on Robinson, who was averaging 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 16 minutes per game. The Kings included Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt in the trade and received forward Patrick Patterson, center Cole Aldrich and guard Toney Douglas and $1 million in cash from Houston. The 6-9 Patterson averaged 11.6 points while starting 38 games for the Rockets. Guard Tyreke Evans has scored 20 or more points in each of the last three games, and he had 14 points in a 112-96 loss to Atlanta on Nov. 16. Point guard Isaiah Thomas is averaging 18.6 points over his last eight games.ABOUT THE HAWKS (29-23): While most of the trade buzz surrounded Smith, the Hawks did make two minor deals at the deadline. Atlanta sent guard Anthony Morrow to Dallas for forward Dahntay Jones, who was averaging 3.5 points in 50 games for the Mavericks. The Hawks also acquired forward Jeremy Tyler from Golden State for a second-round draft pick. Tyler was averaging three minutes per game for the Warriors and will likely have a similar role with Atlanta. Guard Jeff Teague is averaging 10 assists over the last five games, and Atlanta ranks second in the NBA in assists per game at 24.1. Kyle Korver scored a game-high 22 points against the Kings in their first matchup.BUZZER BEATERS1. Korver has made at least one 3-pointer in each of his last 46 games played, the longest active streak in the NBA.2. Thomas has made his last 43 free-throw attempts over the past eight games.3. Atlanta is 129-54 during the regular season at Philips Arena since the start of the 2008-09 campaign.PREDICTION: Hawks 104, Kings 91
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