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Tuesday May 5th, 2015 3:41PM

Hawks beat Kings 112-96

By The Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Kyle Korver scored 22 points, reserve Lou Williams had 21 and the Atlanta Hawks beat Sacramento 112-96 on Friday night for their ninth consecutive win against the Kings.

Al Horford had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta after missing a game due to an illness. Josh Smith collected 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Jeff Teague scored 13 of his 15 points in the first quarter.

The Hawks carried an 86-70 lead into the fourth quarter and maintained at least an 11-point lead the rest of the way.

Korver went 5 for 5 from 3-point range and also had seven rebounds. Atlanta shot 55 percent for the game, including an 8-for-15 performance from beyond the arc.

Jason Thompson had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings, who have lost four straight. Marcus Thornton had 17 points, Tyreke Evans finished with 14 and Aaron Brooks scored 13.

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins returned after he was suspended the previous two games for a verbal altercation with San Antonio TV analyst Sean Elliott. Cousins, who was whistled for a technical foul in the third quarter, had nine points, 16 rebounds and seven assists, but missed 11 of 15 shots.

Ahead by 12 points, Smith had a dunk, Horford hit two free throws, and Ivan Johnson scored from close range, increasing the lead to 98-80 with 7:55 left in the fourth.

The Hawks squandered a big second-quarter lead, but came out strong in the third, outscoring Sacramento 28-14. Korver scored nine points and both Horford and Williams had seven in the period.

Korver played a key role in a 9-0 run in the third. He began the spurt with a 3-pointer and finished it off with a long jumper, putting the Hawks ahead 81-69 with just over three minutes left in the period.

Sparked by their second unit, the Kings got going with a season-best 36-point second quarter. Brooks was the catalyst, making three 3-pointers and scoring 13 points in helping cut the margin from 18 early in the period to 58-56 by halftime.

-- NOTES: Evans, who entered the game 1 of 11 on 3-pointers, hit his first attempt in the opening quarter. ... Hawks coach Larry Drew was a starting guard for the first Sacramento Kings team that relocated from Kansas City for the 1985-86 season. ... Kings small forward James Johnson was wearing glasses for the first time this season. The glasses didn't help the poor-shooting Johnson, who was 1 for 7 from the field. ... In a shooting slump the previous five games, the Hawks shot 58 percent in the first quarter and led 34-20 after one.
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