Wizards-Hawks Preview

Less than two weeks ago, the Atlanta Hawks lost to the

Washington Wizards.

A change in venue could make a major difference Friday night as

the Hawks look to avenge that defeat by continuing their home

dominance in the series.

Atlanta (11-11) has dropped six of nine, including a 108-101

defeat at Washington on Nov. 30. Facing the Wizards (9-11) at home

may lead to a much different result.

The Hawks have won 10 straight meetings on their own floor,

holding Washington to an average of 90.5 points and 42.9 percent

shooting. They’ve been particularly impressive over the last five

such matchups, averaging 104.8 points.

Atlanta took the most recent meeting at Philips Arena 104-95 on

Dec. 7, 2012. Center Al Horford had 14 points and 14 rebounds,

giving him an average of 11.5 in 10 career home matchups.

He had 16 points and three boards against the Wizards last

month.

Horford and the Hawks are coming off their worst offensive

performance of the season. He had a season-low seven points and 10

rebounds while Atlanta set a season mark for futility with 35.6

percent shooting in Tuesday’s 101-92 home loss to Oklahoma

City.

“There were a couple of stretches where we just couldn’t get

good shots,” forward Kyle Korver said. “We all know we have room to

grow. We’ve got to get better, but we can get better.”

Korver is looking to bounce back from his own rough performance,

sinking 1 of 6 from 3-point range while finishing with nine points.

He’s hit at least one 3 in an NBA-record 91 straight games.

Korver is 9 for 20 from behind the arc while averaging 12.3

points in his last three meetings with Washington. He missed the

last matchup with a rib contusion.

Paul Millsap is averaging 20.4 points and 11.8 rebounds over the

past five games, a stretch that started with 23 and 10 against the

Wizards.

Washington is trying to win at Atlanta for the first time since

a 102-98 overtime victory Jan. 11, 2008.

The Wizards are also looking to avoid a third straight loss

after falling 75-74 to Denver on Monday. They failed to regain the

lead on three possessions over the final 33 seconds, including a

turnover by John Wall on the final play.

Washington, though, may be more concerned with its production

off the bench. The team is getting a league-low 18.6 points per

game from the reserves, and they scored five while going 2 for 13

from the field and missing all five from long range against the

Nuggets.

“We’ve got to get more than five points from our bench,” coach

Randy Wittman said. “That’s gotta get better for us, no question

about it.

“I gotta figure out a way to find guys that are gonna go out

there and increase it by 12, keep it at 12, keep it at 10, keep it

at eight, until you can get your main guys back.”

The Wizards continue to be besieged by injuries to Al Harrington

(knee), Bradley Beal (leg), Nene (foot) and Martel Webster

(ankle).

Wall and Trevor Ariza picked up the slack against the Hawks last

month, combining for 50 points on 16-for-28 shooting.

Wall is averaging 23.0 points and 10.3 assists over the past

four games, while Ariza has scored 21.0 while hitting 16 of 29

3s.