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Preview: Hawks face Spurs on first night of back-to-back

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NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks halted a losing streak with an encouraging win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday evening. After two days of rest (and practice), the Hawks will hit the road on Friday evening to begin a back-to-back set with a match-up against the San Antonio Spurs.

Atlanta toppled San Antonio at home back in November and, considering John Collins was unavailable for that game, it is a positive data point for the Hawks as the rematch approaches. With that said, the Spurs are playing better than their 17-22 overall record indicates and the Hawks are, of course, operating without home-court advantage. In addition, the Hawks famously haven’t won in San Antonio since Feb. 15, 1997 — I promise this is a real stat — and that means Atlanta will have to upend recent history to secure a win.

From an injury standpoint, the Hawks continue to function without Jabari Parker (shoulder) but Bruno Fernando (personal) projects to return after missing multiple games. Elsewhere, Alex Len (low back pain) will miss his second straight game, with Chandler Parsons (concussion/whiplash) also set for inactivity after a car accident earlier this week. Newly acquired players Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham will not play.

That formula leads to a situation in which the Hawks are 8.5-point underdogs (as of Friday morning) against the Spurs on the road. This certainly feels like a winnable spot for Atlanta but, without a couple of rotation players and operating with a bit of a shortened bench, it isn’t easy sledding either. Still, the Hawks have a (very) quick turnaround before facing the Pistons at home on Saturday, and it would be nice for the team to begin the back-to-back on a high note.

Stay tuned throughout the day and be encouraged to utilize the comments below as a “game thread” for the action.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Friday, Jan. 17, 8:30 pm ET

Location: AT&T Center

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network

Streaming: Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass