Wizards-Hawks Preview

The Associated Press

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.

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