The last thing the NBA-worst Atlanta Hawks need is their longest road trip of the season.
The Hawks ride a nine-game road losing streak into MCI Center as they open a six-game trip against the Washington Wizards.
Atlanta hasn’t won on the road since a 101-93 victory at Milwaukee on Nov. 18. If the Hawks don’t win Tuesday at Washington—owner of the NBA’s third-worst record behind Orlando and Atlanta—they could easily eclipse their season-worst 13-game road losing streak from 2002-03.
Their next five games on the trip all come against Western Conference teams with winning records—Minnesota, Denver, Sacramento, the Lakers and Utah. The franchise record for consecutive road losses is 29, set from Jan. 28-Nov. 26, 1976.
The Hawks snapped a seven-game overall slide with a 93-88 win over Boston at home last Tuesday, but have since dropped back-to-back games to New Orleans and Detroit.
“It’s disappointing, it’s frustrating, but we battled and competed and they made some big plays,” Atlanta coach Terry Stotts said.
Atlanta held an opponent below 90 points for the second time in 15 games and allowed its lowest point total since a 95-83 win over Miami on Nov. 28.
“It was a war out there, and that’s the type of basketball we’ve got to play,” Terry said. “It’s going to be urgent from here on out. We’ve got to leave it all out there on the floor.”
The Hawks are 3-14 away from home and are tied with Cleveland for the most road losses in the league.
The Wizards will look to snap a four-game losing streak as they open a three-game homestand.
Larry Hughes scored 22 points and Washington surrendered 100 points for the first time in six games with a 100-86 loss to Chicago on Saturday.
The Wizards held Chicago to 40.6 percent shooting but were still dealt their eighth loss in nine games.
“Twelve guys didn’t perform. We didn’t get it done,” Hughes said. “When we play together, we play good basketball. We have to stop all the laughing and joking. This (stuff) isn’t funny. Guys have to start taking it personal.”
Washington also faces Golden State and Milwaukee on its homestand.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 28): Hawks - 8th place, 13 1/2 GB, Central Division. Wizards - 6th place, 7 1/2 GB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Hawks - Abdur-Rahim, 19.9 ppg and 9.5 rpg; Terry, 5 apg. Wizards - Gilbert Arenas, 20 ppg and 5.4 apg; Thomas, 7.7 rpg.
SEASON SERIES: Wizards, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 17; Wizards, 106-97. At Atlanta, Hughes scored 26 points and Arenas added 23 as Washington outscored the Hawks 30-19 down the stretch.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Hawks - 3-14 on the road; Wizards - 4-7 at home.