Hawks vs Warriors preview: Road trip rolls on for struggling Atlanta

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The struggling Atlanta Hawks continue their west coast run with a matchup in Oakland against the surging Golden State Warriors.

Things don't get any easier for the Atlanta Hawks when they continue their road trip with a stop in Oakland where they will take on the Golden State Warriors.

Atlanta's lost four straight games and 12 of their last 13. They have dropped eight straight on the road including a 102-78 loss in Portland on Wednesday. Atlanta struggled mightily against the Blazers shooting just 33 percent from the floor including 4-27 from three-point range.

They will have to step that effort up considerably against a Warriors team that is among the best defensive clubs in the league. Golden State is seventh in the league allowing just 98.6 points per game. They are third in defensive rating at 99.2 per 100 possessions.

The Hawks must also pick up their own play on the defensive end of the floor. Atlanta's defensive rating has been on the climb since November. It was at 103.7 in January and then ballooned to 107.6 if February. In two games in March, it is at 116.4. That is the definition of how a team can score 120 points and still come out on the losing end.

Injuries have played a huge part in those struggles but things could be improving on that front soon. Pero Antic returned to action on Wednesday after missing 17 games with a stress fracture in his ankle. Paul Millsap continues to travel with the team although his status for Friday's game remains uncertain. Millsap has missed five straight games with a knee contusion. His status will likely be updated at the team's shootaround or prior to tonight's game.

The Warriors just finished a six-game road trip with a 4-2 record. They have won two straight and are currently sixth in the Western Conference standings. Stephen Curry was red hot on the trip averaging 25.6 points and has made 22 of his last 31 three-point attempts. The Warriors have taken the last four meetings between the two teams including a 101-100 win earlier this season at Philips Arena that featured a buzzer beating game-winner from Andre Iguodala.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Friday, March 7, 10:30 p.m. ET

Location: ORACLE Arena, Oakland, California

TV: SportSouth

Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM

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