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Preview: Hawks venture to Charlotte for second face-off with Hornets

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The Hawks leave Philips Arena for the first time in a while.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets battle four times each season and the 2017-2018 campaign is no different. With that said, it has been quite a while since the two teams have taken the floor together, that will change in short order over the next few days.

The second battle of the season will take place on Friday evening Charlotte and that was also the site of the first meeting (and the second game of the season for Atlanta) on Oct. 20. That result was a lopsided Hornets victory and, while Charlotte has very much struggled since then, this remains a difficult spot for the Hawks.

Atlanta completed a six-game homestand with a dud on Wednesday and this will be a quick trip for a team that will return to Philips Arena for a game on Saturday evening. The Hornets are mired in trade deadline discussions surrounding Kemba Walker and others but, provided the full roster takes the floor, Charlotte is seen as a Las Vegas favorite and, of course, Atlanta’s opponent features an old friend in Dwight Howard.

Howard appeared quite motivated in the first game, posting 20 points and 15 rebounds, and that might be the case here. Whispers indicate that he could be available (again) on the trade market but, given Atlanta’s insistence on deploying Milse Plumlee, the future Hall of Fame big man could have the opportunity to feast and, by proxy, let the Hawks know all about it.

Still, this is a very winnable game for the road team provided Walker is kept in check by Dennis Schröder and others. Charlotte’s struggles have been well documented and, even away from home (a set-up that has not treated the Hawks well this season), the talent edge for the Hornets is small enough to provide some optimism.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Friday, January 26, 7:00 p.m. ET

Location: Spectrum Center

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)