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Clippers vs Hawks preview: Atlanta returns home on back-to-back

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After a road trip against some of the top teams in the NBA, the Atlanta Hawks return to Philips Arena on Tuesday evening for a match-up against Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

After the most impressive four-game stretch in the recent history of the franchise, the Atlanta Hawks return home to Philips Arena on Tuesday night. The schedule does not exactly give the Hawks a "break", however, as the opponent awaiting the team is the Los Angeles Clippers, led by the All-NBA duo of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.

The Hawks do catch a minor break, though, in that the Clippers are also on the second game of a back-to-back. Los Angeles lost an overtime battle to San Antonio on Monday night, and the two teams should be "equally" tired on the heels of hard-fought battles.

Still, the Clippers are a very dangerous opponent, with the benefit of a top-five offense in the NBA at their disposal. Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap are sure to face off for much of the night, and that should be an interesting battle between two of the best power forwards in the game. Griffin has taken a small step back in production after an MVP-like campaign in 2013-2014, but he is still a dominant player at times, and Millsap will have his hands full.

The "other" big-time match-up will come at the point guard spot, though it is unknown whether Jeff Teague will return after a three-game absence. Teague's status should be revealed at some point during the day on Tuesday, but even if he is unable to go, Atlanta is in decent shape against Chris Paul with the duo of Dennis Schröder and Shelvin Mack ready to roll.

It would be aggressive to say that the Hawks "should" win against a team that is loaded with elite talent and a top-flight coach, but Atlanta is playing so well right now that anything seems possible. Regardless, Tuesday night's game should be highly entertaining between two of the better teams in the NBA, and hopefully, the building will be hopping for the last game before the Christmas holiday.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Tuesday, December 23, 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: SportSouth

Radio: 92.9 The Game