The Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings will both attempt to extend win streaks in their next matchup, but history is squarely on the side of one of them.
The Hawks go for a 16th consecutive victory against the Kings on Thursday night in Sacramento.
Atlanta (26-17) earned a third straight win in the opener to a four-game road trip Wednesday, topping Portland 104-98. Kent Bazemore and Paul Millsap each provided 23 points as the Hawks avoided a third consecutive road loss.
The Kings (18-23) matched their longest win streak this season by also earning a third consecutive victory, 112-93 against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. With 36 points, DeMarcus Cousins scored 29 or more for the eighth time in nine games since Jan. 1, and his 16 rebounds gave him 10 or more in eight consecutive contests.
"DeMarcus has shown at a high, high level that he's an All-Star," coach George Karl said. "Is there a better center playing basketball right now in the NBA? I don't think there is. ... I don't know anybody that's playing at this level right now, and I hope the NBA recognizes it and gives him an opportunity to play in Toronto (at the All-Star Game)."
Cousins had 24 points and 12 rebounds in Atlanta on Nov. 18 as the Kings failed to end the league's longest active losing streak versus one opponent, falling 103-97.
Atlanta has won seven straight in Sacramento since a 119-107 loss Feb. 20, 2008, which was also the Hawks' last overall defeat in the series. The Kings have dropped four of six at home since winning seven of nine, and they have allowed an average of 116.2 points in the past five contests on their own court.
Atlanta, meanwhile, has yielded an average of 88.3 points in its last three overall games after giving up 107.3 per game in its previous seven contests.
"When our defense is where it needs to be on any given night, we will be tough to beat," Bazemore said. "Our offense gets a lot of the glory but it was our defense that kept us in the game (Wednesday)."
The Hawks played just enough defense to keep from blowing a late 11-point lead over Sacramento in November. Millsap made a key shot with 15.7 seconds left while finishing with 23 points and a season high-tying 16 rebounds.
Dennis Schroder contributed 22 points - two shy of matching his career high - but hasn't been at his best entering this matchup. He totaled 14 points while missing 15 of 21 shots in his past two games.
Millsap has scored 20 or more points in four of his last five games and has shot 58.9 percent in his past seven contests. Bazemore's performance Wednesday followed a five-game stretch in which he averaged 8.4 while shooting 39.0 percent.
Jeff Teague is averaging 19.4 points and 11.2 assists in his last five games against Sacramento, but was forced to miss the latest matchup because of an ankle injury.