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Preview: Hawks continue road journey in Los Angeles

The first of two at Staples Center.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Los Angeles Lakers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks are on a lengthy road trip against Western Conference opponents but, for at least a small part of it, the team will be allowed to stay in one place for multiple nights. On Sunday evening, the Hawks will begin a back-to-back set at Staples Center against the Lakers and Clippers, with one of the league’s flagship squads playing host to Atlanta in the opener.

At the moment, the Lakers are playing the worst basketball of any team in the NBA and the team has dropped nine straight contests as a result. In some ways, it is not a shock to see Los Angeles scuffling given the young nature of the roster but, in the early going, expectations became outsized and, given the market, scrutiny has been heavy.

The Lakers, by proxy of the home-court advantage, remain Las Vegas favorites (of approximately three points) in this game but the Hawks would certainly like to right the ship after beginning the trip with two straight losses. In truth, this is easily Atlanta’s best opportunity for a win on the five-game swing and the Hawks had Saturday off in order to reset their collective body clock for this one.

From a match-up perspective, it will be interesting to see if the Hawks can take advantage of a bottom-five offense and hold the Lakers down on that end of the floor. If that does not happen, though, Los Angeles could get a much-needed win and it is never ideal to allow a team’s lengthy losing skid to end on Atlanta’s watch.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest from Staples Center, as we have a man on the scene in Jeff Siegel.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Sunday, January 7, 9:30 p.m. ET

Location: Staples Center

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

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)