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Kings End Road Trip at Hawks in MLK Day Matinee

The Kings play a 1 PM Pacific game against the Atlanta Hawks today as a part of the NBA's grand Martin Luther King Jr. Day schedule. The game's on NBA TV for those of you local fans still flummoxed by the Dish-Comcast spat. This match completes the Kings' six-game Eastern road trip; the team is 1-4 to date, with the sole victory on Friday over the New York Knicks. The Kings had three chances against poor teams -- the Raptors, Wizards and Pistons -- and dropped them all. Given that the Hawks are good, like the Knicks and Celtics, against which the Kings went 1-1, Sacramento may just have a chance today.

As elucidated by Aykis16 in this weekend's GB&U, Beno Udrih has been on fire during this jaunt eastward; hence the hasty artistic rendering at right. We tend to forget that during last season, when the Kings were actually not completely terrible for stretches, that was in large part due to Beno's consistent play. Frankly, he didn't shoot well early this season. That better efficiency for Beno has coincided with a run of relative success for the Kings shouldn't be a surprise.

The Hawks beat the Kings in Sacramento a few weeks back as a valiant comeback fell short. Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins combined to score 31 points in the fourth quarter of that game, but Atlanta just held on. Getting the dual stars going earlier in the game will be a key for Sacramento; bench production and defending Jamal Crawford well should also factor heavily.

The game is, again, at 1 PM Pacific. I assure you that game threads will be posted at 1 and 2:30. (Thanks for the save on Saturday, pookey.) Check out HighTops' scouting report in the FanPosts. And let's go Kings.