|Hawks looking for answers as they entertain Kings|
Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce admittedly was stunned that the media had numerous questions following the team's fourth loss in five games.
While Pierce made light of the situation, he hopes the Hawks have more answers on the court Friday as they play their third home game in four days with an encounter against the Sacramento Kings.
"You can watch and see there was just bad body language, guys weren't ready," Pierce said after Atlanta made a season-low six of its 30 3-point attempts and committed a campaign-worst 24 turnovers in a 113-93 setback to Chicago on Wednesday.
"We just didn't care. We didn't have the 'care factor' today. It's a teachable moment, because it's our first back-to-back, and this is where you've really got to grind and dig in."
Jabari Parker had a team-leading 18 points on Wednesday for his sixth double-digit performance in seven games for the Hawks. Parker was starting his second consecutive contest in place of John Collins, who served the second of his 25-game suspension after violating the NBA's anti-drug policy.
While Parker flourished, Trae Young fizzled on the heels of a 29-point, 13-assist performance in Atlanta's 108-100 victory over San Antonio on Tuesday. The second-year guard scored just nine points and misfired on all eight of his 3-point attempts.
"Coming off a big win, you've got to be mentally focused. You've got to approach every game like it's your last," Young said. "We didn't do that."
Young fared significantly better in his two encounters with the Kings during his rookie season, collecting a double-double (14 points, 10 assists) in a 146-115 loss on Nov. 1, 2018, and 23 points and eight assists in a 135-113 setback on Jan. 30.
First-year coach Luke Walton wasn't there to see Sacramento win those contests, however he received an eyeful on Wednesday as the club saw its modest two-game winning streak come to a halt with a 124-120 loss at Toronto.
"We showed growth again," Walton said. "I'm happy for the direction we're moving (in). It's a tough place to play, (they're) the NBA champs and they were making a lot of shots (on Wednesday). Our guys hung in there, stayed close. A week ago, this was a game that was turning into a 25-point game. To give ourselves a chance at the end is all you can ask for, and at the end, they made shots. We missed them."
The Kings tied a franchise record with 20 3-pointers, including six by Bogdan Bogdanovic and five more from fellow shooting guard Buddy Hield. Bogdanovic scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and Hield finished with 21 against the Raptors.
Hield flustered Atlanta in two games last season by scoring 45 points on 16-of-28 shooting from the field, including 9-of-15 from 3-point range.
Harrison Barnes did the majority of his damage on the interior Wednesday, scoring a season-high 26 points on 7-of-15 shooting.
De'Aaron Fox wasn't as fortunate, as his career-worst turnovers per game rate increased to 4.0 after having seven versus Toronto.
--Field Level Media