Hawks center Al Horford is one of three players who served as captain for Atlanta in the first three games of the season. (Reuters)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Hawks will use a rotating system of captains this season. However coach Mike Budenholzer would provide few other details the plan.
“There will be a couple different guys each night,” Budenholzer said Tuesday before the Hawks played the Kings. “I will keep the rest internal.”
In the Hawks’ first three games, Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver served as captains who received pregame instructions from referees.
It was Horford who led the Hawks to a 105-100 win late Tuesday against the Kings, helping Atlanta beat Sacramento for the 11th straight time.
Horford collected 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Millsap added 25 and 11. Jeff Teague recorded 18 points and 10 assists for the Hawks, who let a 19-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle to one before asserting themselves in the final minute.
The Kings came out strong with a 32-point first quarter and hit the first two baskets of the second before falling off with one field goal over the next 8 1/2 minutes as Atlanta took control, grabbing a 54-45 edge at the half and pushing it to a 17-point bulge after the third quarter. The lead swelled to as much as 84-65 early in the fourth before the Hawks let Sacramento back into the game.
SOME FAMILIARITY: The Hawks open the season with four of their first five games against Western Conference opponents.
Budenholzer, who spent 19 seasons with the Spurs organization, acknowledged the opponents have helped ease his way into the head coaching ranks.
“To be honest, yes,” he said of the familiarity of opponents being an asset. “To know the personnel and to know that those teams like to do, for me in my first few games has given me a little bit more comfort.”
BELLARY ARRANGEMENTS: The funeral arrangements for Hall of Famer Walt Bellamy, a former Hawks center, have been set, according to the team. There will a viewing Friday at the Shaw Temple AME Zion Church in Smyrna from 6-8 p.m. The service will be held at either 10 or 11 a.m. Saturday, also at Shaw Temple AME Zion. The church is located at 775 Hurt Road SW in Smyrna.
Bellamy died Saturday at age 74. He played 14 NBA seasons, including four-plus with the Hawks. In 338 games for Atlanta, he averaged 15.7 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Bellamy was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
ETC.: Entering Tuesday’s game, the Hawks ranked second in the NBA in steals per game, at 10.7. The team had four players in the top 20, with Jeff Teague, Horford and Korver tied for 12th with 2.33 and DeMarre Carroll 19th with 2.0 steals. … Korver made all six 3-point attempts in Sunday’s game against the Lakers. It marked the 41st time in his career, and 10th as a Hawks, that he has made five or more 3’s in a game. … Shareef Abdur-Rahim, a former Hawk and a Wheeler High graduate is the Kings’ Director of Player Personnel.