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Kings vs. Hawks Preview: Who wants it more?

Two teams desperate for a win should provide an intense contest.

Atlanta Hawks v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Fresh off a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, the Sacramento Kings will return to Golden 1 Center to take on the Atlanta Hawks in their first meeting of the season.

Sacramento is looking for their second victory of the New Year, while Atlanta is chomping at the bit for a win following their franchise star’s career-high performance.

On Monday night, fourth-year point guard Trae Young dropped a career-high 56 points in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Yet another team ravaged by injuries and players in health and safety protocols, the Hawks are as desperate for a victory as the Kings.

Despite their season failing to meet expectations, Atlanta boasts a tenacity and high energy style of basketball matching that of Sacramento’s own scrappy grit. This should be an evenly-matched contest, which frankly hasn’t meant much to the Kings in their slew of losses to roster-depleted teams over the last two weeks.

Sacramento has another opportunity to capitalize on a thinned group in the Hawks while also moving toward the rising ranks of the play-in tournament.

The Kings remain without Chimezie Metu and Richaun Holmes, who are in the league’s health and safety protocols. Defense will be crucial for a size disadvantaged Kings and the chops of Davion Mitchell, Moe Harkless and company will try to get the job done across the timeline and put the Kings back into the victory column.

How to Watch/Listen: NBC Sports California, Sports 1140 KHTK

Opposing Perspective: Peachtree Hoops

Spread: Hawks -1.5

Moneyline: Kings +100, Hawks -120

SAC injuries/absences: Richaun Holmes - Out (Health and Safety Protocols), Chimezie Metu - Out (Health and Safety Protocols), Terence Davis - Questionable (Ankle)

ATL injuries/absences: Cam Reddish - Questionable (Right Ankle Sprain), Trae Young - Questionable - (Lower Back Soreness), Solomon Hill - Out (Right Hamstring Tear), De’Andre Hunter - Out (Wrist), Bogdan Bogdanovic - Out (Health and Safety Protocols), John Collins - Out (Health and Safety Protocols), Gorgui Dieng - Out (Health and Safety Protocols), Jalen Johnson - Out (Health and Safety Protocols)