Originally created 01/25/03

Hawks beat Kings, snap losing streak

ATLANTA -- For one night, at least, the Atlanta Hawks didn't look so foolish for guaranteeing a spot in the playoffs.

Glenn Robinson scored 29 points, Jason Terry added 23 and the Hawks overcame an early deficit to beat the weary Sacramento Kings 115-104 on Friday night.

Atlanta snapped a six-game losing streak, outscoring the Kings - who have the league's second-best record - 18-7 down the stretch.

"We needed it. We needed it bad," said Nazr Mohammed, who scored a season-high 16 points off the bench. "We still see ourselves as a playoff-caliber team. Now, we've got to prove it."

The Hawks, who haven't made the playoffs since 1999, have offered to give their season-ticket holders a $125 refund if they don't make it to the postseason.

Even with Friday's surprising victory, they still have a long way to go. The Hawks are just 15-28, having lost 18 of their last 23.

"We beat Sacramento," Robinson said. "That lets us know that we can beat any team in the NBA."

Atlanta buried the Kings with 3-pointers, hitting 10-of-17 outside the arc.

"We didn't defend - again," coach Rick Adelman moaned. "We scored over 100 points, but you can't win on the road without defense."

The Hawks took the lead for good when Terry hit a 3-pointer with 4:31 remaining to make it 100-97. The Kings couldn't respond, clearly looking like a team that was playing for the fourth time in five nights.

Robinson, ejected from Atlanta's previous game for arguing with the officials, stepped outside the arc to make a jumper that pushed the Hawks to a 105-100 advantage with 3:04 remaining.

Then, at the other end, Robinson came through with an uncharacteristic defensive stop. Peja Stojakovic drove to the basket, only to have the ball yanked away by Robinson before he could get off the shot.

"I could see he was locked into scoring," Robinson said. "I took a chance by leaving my man and came up with a huge steal."

Robinson was fouled and made both free throws to push the Hawks to a 107-100 lead. Then it was up to Terry, who finished off the Kings with two more 3s in the final 1:19. He also had 13 assists, equaling his season high.

Robinson was 4-of-5 from 3-point range, while Terry connected on 5-of-8 from long range.

Sacramento lost despite a huge game by Chris Webber, who had 32 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, dished out six assists and made two steals. But Webber also committed nine turnovers as the Hawks stepped up their defensive pressure in the second half.

"We can only blame ourselves," Webber said. "I had nine turnovers. That's unacceptable. I'll be sure to make up for it."

Stojakovic had 24 points as both teams shot 50 percent from the field.

The Kings started quickly, going ahead 26-15 when Vlade Divac hit a 3-pointer with 3:56 left in the first quarter. The Hawks trailed 57-49 at halftime and didn't take their first lead until Corey Benjamin's dunk with 6:52 left in the third.

Benjamin had another strong effort in his second game with the Hawks since being signed to a 10-day contract Wednesday. He scored 14 points and had seven rebounds, adding some much-needed enthusiasm to a team that has looked lifeless for much of the season.

"I don't want to end up where I was," said Benjamin, who was playing with the NBA's developmental league team in North Charleston, S.C., when the Hawks called. "Whatever I've got to do to prove I belong here, that's what I'm going to do."

Led by Mohammed and Benjamin, the Atlanta bench outscored Sacramento's reserves 40-11.

Notes: Both teams made roster moves before the game. The Hawks put guard Ira Newble on the injured list (left knee inflammation) and activated forward Chris Crawford. The Kings activated forward Scot Pollard and placed forward Lawrence Funderburke on the injured list because of lingering problems in his right foot. ... Despite being activated, neither Crawford nor Pollard got on the court. ... The Hawks also played without guard Mike Wilks, who has a dislocated right thumb. ... Terry surpassed 1,500 assists in his career. He now has 1,508.


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