ATLANTA -- Like any good point guard, Mike Bibby wants to involve as many of his teammates as possible.
"You can't do anything by yourself," he said. "I tell the guys, 'Whenever I drive to the basket, circle in, because I'm looking to pass it. Be aggressive.' I'm going to try to get the ball where they need it."
Joe Johnson had 26 points to lead the Hawks, who had dropped two straight and eight of nine. Though Atlanta began the game in the ninth place and game out of the Eastern Conference playoff race, Johnson believes Bibby can only make the Hawks better.
"We haven't really had practices now with Mike, so it's kind of been tough really to pick his spots," Johnson said. "We're just kind of learning on the fly, but it just felt so good."
"We allowed a team averaging 90 points to score 123," Sacramento coach Reggie Theus said. "We gave up 40 points in the first quarter and 34 in the third. We have to rededicate ourselves to defense."
The Hawks acquired Bibby in a trade Feb. 16 that sent Shelden Williams, a former fifth overall pick, along with three other players and a second-round draft choice to Sacramento.
Bibby, who spent seven seasons with the Kings, missed the first 36 games after tearing a ligament in his left thumb, but his ball-handling skills looked sharp.
With Atlanta leading by six and 59.3 seconds remaining, Bibby was isolated against Udrih on the right side. Faking left and dribbling the ball between his legs, Bibby made a no-look pass to Zaza Pachulia, who drew a foul from Miller.
"He's a smart player," Miller said of Bibby. "He did everything old style."
Pachulia hit one of two free throws for a 115-108 lead.
The Hawks improved to 2-4 since trading for Bibby, who had a season high in assists and matched a season-high in points.
"It's great that we got him," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "You see he adds a totally different dimension, something we didn't have in terms of a point guard. Not only can he distribute the ball but he can score as well. He was huge tonight."
Francisco Garcia's 3-pointer in the final minute of the second quarter ended a 30-14 run for the Kings and gave them their first lead at 56-54.
Sacramento's Ron Artest finished with 23 points, hitting two free throws with 3:55 remaining to cut the lead to 110-106. The Kings, however, couldn't cut the deficit further.
For Atlanta, Bibby was the difference.
"We almost gave it back to them, but we finished plays off and got rebounds when we needed them," Bibby said. "It's going to take some time. You're going to have good games, you're going to have bad. We had a good one tonight."
|Mike Bibby, traded from Sacramento on Feb. 16, has 24 points and 12 assists. (Getty Images)|
|Atlanta (23-32) «||40||19||34||30||123|
|SAC:B. Miller 25 Pts
SAC:B. Miller 13 Reb
SAC:B. Udrih 8 Ast
|ATL:J. Johnson 26 Pts
ATL:A. Horford 14 Reb
ATL:M. Bibby 12 Ast
|Players of the Game|
Majestic Josh Smith Hawks Player T-Shirt - Red
$23.95 Shop Now!
|B. Miller, C||40||9-16||4-6||13||6||3||25|
|B. Udrih, PG||38||11-19||3-4||4||8||3||25|
|R. Artest, SF||37||8-14||6-11||7||4||1||23|
|M. Moore, PF||33||3-5||4-6||7||0||5||10|
|K. Martin, SG||22||2-9||2-2||1||2||2||6|
|F. Garcia, SF||27||5-13||2-4||4||0||6||14|
|J. Salmons, SF||21||3-6||2-2||1||1||3||8|
|A. Johnson, PG||10||1-3||0-0||0||3||1||2|
|S. Hawes, C||9||2-4||0-0||3||1||1||4|
|S. Williams, PF||3||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|S. Abdur-Rahim, PF||Did Not Play|
|L. Wright, C||Did Not Play|
|T. Lue, PG||Did Not Play|
|K. Thomas, PF||Did Not Play|
|Q. Douby, SG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|J. Johnson, SG||44||8-17||5-5||2||6||3||26|
|A. Horford, PF||41||6-8||4-4||14||4||5||16|
|M. Bibby, PG||37||7-13||8-9||5||12||4||24|
|J. Smith, SF||32||5-14||4-6||10||2||4||14|
|M. West, SG||16||3-7||1-1||5||0||3||7|
|J. Childress, SG||30||7-10||10-11||5||2||1||25|
|Z. Pachulia, C||17||1-4||3-4||5||0||3||5|
|S. Stoudamire, SG||11||0-5||0-0||0||2||2||0|
|S. Jones, PF||6||1-1||0-0||0||0||1||2|
|J. Richardson, SF||6||2-4||0-0||0||0||0||4|
|S. Claxton, PG||Did Not Play|
|M. Williams, SF||Did Not Play|
|A. Law, PG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|