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Wizards look to carry momentum into Atlanta
The Wizards will look to carry momentum from their win in Boston to Atlanta for tonight's matchup with the Hawks.
Philips Arena | 7:30 p.m. | NBCSW | 1500 AM
Wizards (19-15): G - Wall, G - Beal, F - Porter Jr., F - Morris, C - Gortat
Hawks (8-25): G - Schroder, G - Bazemore, F - Prince, F - Ilyasova, C - Plumlee
Wizards: Sheldon Mac (Achilles - Out)
Chance to Gain Momentum
Monday's Christmas Day win in Boston could be the game that ends up being looked at as a turning point for this season. It may have been the team's best overall performance of the year and one that proved that this team still has what it takes to compete with the best in the league. But, that win will lose some of it's luster if the Wizards don't take care of business against an 8-25 Hawks team tonight in Atlanta. For all the positives that were said about the team in Boston, that was a nationally televised game against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year. Monday's game was played in front of a sold-out crowd in an electric atmosphere, two elements that won't be the case tonight in Atlanta. But, the good teams are the ones that can play at a high level on a consistent basis and not just when the lights shine bright. Through the first two months of the season, the Wizards have struggled against certain sub .500 teams, most recently their blowout loss in Brooklyn last Friday. Tonight, they'll have a chance to carry that momentum from Monday's win and take care of a team at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
First Trip to Atlanta Since Game 6
Tonight will be the Wizards first time back in Atlanta since they ended the Hawks season last April in Game 6 of the first round of the playoffs. In a way, it's sort of the opposite of Monday's game, where the Wizards made their first trip to Boston since they had their season ended last year. What will be the same, is that similar to how Boston overhauled their roster, the Hawks made a number of changes to their team, losing All-Stars Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard, and one of their leading scorers in Tim Hardaway Jr. With that said, the Hawks' backcourt of Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore were big pieces to last year's team and they should be starting again tonight. They'll have revenge in mind with the Wizards back in town tonight. The Wizards routed the Hawks in their first meeting of this season, 113-94, back on November 11th in DC, which including the playoffs was their seventh straight win over the Hawks in Washington.
Mike Scott Back in Atlanta
Mike Scott will make his return to Atlanta after playing his first five seasons in the NBA with the Hawks. Scott has been enjoying a career season with the Wizards, averaging close to 12 points per game on 63% shooting in the month of December. He's scored at least 18 points in five of his last nine games, including a season-high 24 points in a win over the Pelicans last week. He ranks sixth in the NBA in field goal percentage (58%) and is the only player in the top six who shoots regularly from the perimeter. Look for Scott to continue his hot shooting tonight against his former team.
Up next, the Wizards head back home to battle the Rockets on Friday night. (7:00 p.m.)