Hawks-Wizards Preview

The Associated Press

The Washington Wizards put together a solid stretch before getting outplayed their last time out.

The Southeast Division-rival Atlanta Hawks, meanwhile, are coming off a much-needed win.

Washington opens a four-game homestand Saturday night against Hawks, who have dominated the series over the years.

While the Wizards (7-9) appeared to have turned a corner after winning five of six, they took a step back in Friday's one-sided 93-73 loss at NBA-best Indiana. Marcin Gortat (17) and Trevor Ariza (14) were the only two players to score in double figures as Washington was held to a season low in points.

The Wizards, averaging 17.4 fast-break points to rank near the top of the NBA, failed to score any and committed 18 turnovers that led to 26 Pacers points.

"When we did get in the open court we turned the ball over," said coach Randy Wittman, whose team was outscored 28-14 in the first quarter. "They got back and jammed the lane. That was the opposite of how we wanted to play."

Washington may be able to bounce back at home, where it has averaged 106.0 points in winning three straight. While the Wizards beat Atlanta 93-83 in the last matchup Jan. 12, they have lost 18 of 20 in the series dating to March 2008.

The Hawks (9-8) had been outscored by an average of 17.6 points during a three-game losing streak before bouncing back with Friday's 88-87 win over Dallas. Al Horford made a go-ahead 20-foot jumper with 4.2 seconds left as Atlanta stormed back from 17 down in the second half.

"That wasn't how we planned it," Horford told the NBA's official website. "Jeff (Teague) was double-teamed so he kicked it to me. We've worked so much on that pick-and-pop over the years. I feel comfortable taking that shot."

The Hawks held the Mavericks scoreless over the final 3:26 and outscored them 23-2 in transition. Teague had a game-high 25 points while Horford finished with 17 and 12 rebounds.

"I just took what the defense gave me," Horford said.

Teague is averaging a team-leading 17.4 points for the Hawks, who are 8-2 when he scores at least 16. The fifth-year guard is averaging 16.3 in his last four matchups with Washington.

The Wizards will be looking for a bounce-back performance from John Wall, who was held to a season-low eight points on 4-of-14 shooting against the Pacers. Washington is 6-3 when he scores at least 15 compared to 1-6 when he doesn't.

Wall, who has averaged 16.4 in eight career games against the Hawks, is scoring 21.3 per game at home this season, significantly higher than his road mark of 17.2.

Hawks forward Kyle Korver may miss a third straight game with a rib injury. He has made at least one 3-pointer in 88 consecutive games, one shy of Dana Barros' all-time record.

Korver has gone 21 of 37 (56.8 percent) from beyond the arc over his last seven road contests.

The Wizards continue to play without Bradley Beal (20.6 PPG) due to a leg injury, and No. 3 overall draft pick Otto Porter remains sidelined with a troublesome hip. Nene, averaging 20.4 points in five home games, is also uncertain to be available after sitting out Friday with a sore Achilles tendon.

Atlanta is 3-1 on the road against Eastern Conference opponents.

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