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Preview: Hawks square off with Hornets before lengthy road trip

Take a break from the madness.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

March Madness rules the day in terms of basketball attention but the Atlanta Hawks are back in action at home on Thursday, playing host to Dwight Howard, Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets. This is the third consecutive home contest for Atlanta but, from here, the Hawks will not return to Philips Arena until March 30, as they venture out on a lengthy road trip that includes five games against the Western Conference.

Before that arrives, though, Mike Budenholzer’s team will be attempting to avoid a season series sweep at the hands of the Hornets, who have taken the first three meetings. This particular contest won’t have the buzz of Howard’s first return to Atlanta (nor a tribute video, I’d guess) but the Hornets have lost six of seven and, in short, this will be the home team’s best opportunity for a win for a while.

Charlotte doesn’t have much to play for after fully falling out of the playoff race but they are (much) healthier than Atlanta at this juncture and the Hornets enter the evening with (easily) the best player on the floor in Walker. It remains to be seen just how well the Hawks play, especially defensively, but this is a spot in which the home team could certainly emerge victorious if they can combine quality effort on both sides of the ball.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Thursday, March 15, 7:30 pm ET

Location: Philips Arena

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

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)