Atlanta (24-51) at Minnesota (31-45)

Fair Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 49° F
  • Game info: 3:30 pm EDT Sun Apr 9, 2006
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The Atlanta Hawks seek their second three-game winning streak of the season when they face the Minnesota Timberwolves in a matchup of teams eliminated from playoff contention.

Atlanta enters with nine consecutive road losses and is just 7-30 away from home, while Minnesota has dropped three in a row and 13 of its last 18 to fall a season-high 14 games under .500.

However, with a 24-51 record, the Hawks have nearly doubled their win total of a year ago when they went a franchise-worst 13-69 and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season.

In a 114-101 win over Washington on Friday, Josh Smith paced seven Hawks in double-digits with 25 points and Joe Johnson added 20 as Atlanta snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Wizards.

The Hawks made 39-of-49 free-throw attempts—season highs in both categories—and went 9-for-19 from 3-point range.

Smith connected on 3-of-5 3-point tries.

“When I’ve had to score, if they leave me open, I’m going to try to make them pay by hitting the jump shot like I did tonight,” said Smith, who has made 25 3-pointers in his last 24 games after not sinking a 3 in his first 49 contests this season.

Smith scored 17 points and grabbed 15 boards in a 101-99 win over Minnesota on Wednesday.

The Timberwolves will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive year following a streak of eight straight appearances, and their 31 victories are their fewest in a full season since they went 26-56 in 1995-96.

Justin Reed scored a career-high 18 points, and Kevin Garnett had 14 points and 13 rebounds in Minnesota’s 103-95 loss to Utah on Friday.

Garnett, who registered a double-double for the 33rd straight game, played just 24 minutes as coach Dwane Casey shuffled the team’s youth in and out of the lineup.

“I thought tonight is what it’s going to be like for the rest of the year,” Casey said. “It’s tough on our fans, but we’ve got to get our young players ready for next year and the future.”

Atlanta has won three of the last four meetings in this series since losing eight in a row from April 4, 2000-Jan. 2, 2004.

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