Hawks vs Cavaliers preview: Atlanta looks to bounce back in Cleveland

Kevin C. Cox

The Atlanta Hawks look to get back on track Thursday night when they take on Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Atlanta Hawks emerge from a Christmas break Thursday night when they travel to Quicken Loans Arena to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Atlanta comes into the game playing well and winners of three of their last four games. They went toe-to-toe with the defending champs the Miami Heat on Monday before falling 121-119 in overtime. They will look to get back on track Thursday night against a struggling Cavaliers team that is in desperate need of a win.

Cleveland comes into Thursday's nights game with a 10-17 record and having lost two straight. Those two losses were by a combined 39 points and have head coach Mike Brown questioning his team's "sense of urgency."

Most of Cleveland's struggles have come on the road where they are just 2-12 on the season. Atlanta won the previous matchup at Philips Arena 108-89 behind 22 points from Al Horford. Kyrie Irving was held scoreless in just over 20 minutes in that earlier meeting and he will be looking for revenge this time out.

Despite Cleveland's recent struggles, Irving is playing well averaging over 26 points in his last seven games. He had 21 points and seven assists in Monday's loss to the Detroit Pistons. Slowing him down will once again be the biggest key for the Hawks.

Atlanta is looking to shake off some road woes of their own where they have lost five straight and are just 4-9 on the season. They have had their way with the Cavaliers recently and have taken four of the last five matchups in Cleveland.

The Cavaliers could be without one of their major weapons in guard Dion Waiters who is listed as questionable with a wrist injury. Waiters has missed the last three games and was one of the bright spots in that earlier meeting with Atlanta scoring a game-high 30 points off the bench. For Atlanta, Cartier Martin has missed the last five games with an ankle injury and is also listed as questionable.

Game Info

Game date/time: Thursday, December 26, 7 p.m.

Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

TV: SportSouth

Radio: 92.9 FM "The Game"

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