Washington Wizards (10-32) at Atlanta Hawks (24-19), 7:30 p.m. (ET)
(Sports Network) – The Atlanta Hawks are back in Georgia’s capital following
an unsuccessful six-game road trip and will host the Southeast Division-rival
Washington Wizards tonight from Philips Arena.
The Hawks went 2-4 on the trip and suffered its second straight loss and
fourth in five tries with Wednesday’s 96-82 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers
at Staples Center. Joe Johnson scored 19 points and Josh Smith had 18 for the
Hawks, who made 43 percent of their shots and committed 16 turnovers.
Zaza Pachulia donated 12 points and 10 rebounds in defeat. Jeff Teague was the
only other scorer in double figures for Atlanta with 10 points.
“I take my hat off to my guys,” said Atlanta coach Larry Drew. “We just tried
to stay in the game and be competitive. We just ran out of gas.”
Atlanta is back in the Peach State and has won two straight and three of four
games as the host. It is 12-6 at home this season. Meanwhile, Smith is
averaging 24.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in his last 10 games. He needs just
two more offensive rebounds to pass Dikembe Mutombo (1,228) for sixth on the
Hawks’ all-time list.
Willie Green (hamstring) and Marvin Williams (hip flexor) are day-to-day for
the Hawks, who are 22-3 when scoring 90-plus points.
Washington made some noise before the NBA’s trade deadline and traded guard
Nick Young to the Clippers and centers JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to Denver
as part of a three-team deal. The Wizards acquired forward Nene from Denver as
well as Brian Cook from the Clippers.
The Wizards were able to snap a three-game slide with Thursday’s 99-89 victory
at New Orleans, as John Wall recorded a double-double with 26 points and 12
assists. Roger Mason Jr. scored 19 points for Washington, which won for only
the third time in its last 13 tries.
“I thought our guys, for the day being what it was, fought through a lot of
adversity to come out here and get a win,” said Washington head coach Randy
Wittman. “I am really proud of those guys in there. It is tough sometimes to
go through a day of waiting like we had today.”
Washington is 1-2 on a six-game road trip and 4-16 away from the Verizon
Center this season. It had dropped six in a row as the guest before defeating
the Hornets and will also visit the Grizzlies and Nets on the trek. The
Wizards could also see some action from their newcomers tonight.
Wall eclipsed the 900 career mark in assists last time out and entered the
game averaging 19.4 points, 8.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds since the break. He
has surpassed the 20-point mark 14 times this season.
The Wizards suffered a 101-83 loss at Atlanta back on Dec. 28 this season, as
Smith scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in that one. Washington was led
by Young’s game-high 21 points off the bench. Wall scored 20 points and dished
out six assists for the Wizards, who have lost 13 of 14 meetings with Atlanta.
Washington is winless in its last seven contests at Philips Arena.
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