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Hawks vs Celtics preview: Atlanta looks to carry momentum into Boston

The Atlanta Hawks begin a two-game road trip on Friday with a stop in Boston to face the Celtics.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks snapped a three-game losing streak on Wednesday with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers at Philips Arena. Now they will try to build some momentum when they open a two-game road trip on Friday in Boston against the Celtics.

The Hawks have had an inconsistent start to the 2016 season. They have gone 5-5 over their last 10 games and are just 2-6 on the road after beginning the season 4-0. They are currently in ninth place in the conference standings but are just 3.5 games back of first place in what is a tightly jumbled east race.

Atlanta found an offensive rhythm for the first time in over a week against the Sixers shooting over 60 percent from the floor while going 10 for 21 from three-point range. Perhaps one of the best signs for the Hawks in that game was the strong contribution they got from the point guard position. Both Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder have been inconsistent throughout the early part of the season. The duo combined for 35 points and 11 assists while going 12 for 21 from the field in the win over the Sixers.

The Celtics come into Friday's game having lost two straight and three of their last four overall. They suffered an 119-116 defeat on Wednesday despite 38 points from Isaiah Thomas.

Friday's game will be the third of four meetings between the two teams this season. Boston scored the final 10 points of the game to defeat Atlanta in the first meeting back in November. The Hawks made 12 threes and scored 121 points in the rematch two weeks later.

The Celtics will be without guard Marcus Smart who has missed the last 14 games with a leg injury. Smart resumed basketball activities earlier this week but isn't expected back on the court until sometime after Christmas. The Hawks assigned Walter Tavares to the D-League on Thursday but will have the rest of their roster available for Friday's game.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Friday, December 18, 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM