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Preview: Hawks aim to continue momentum against Dallas

Atlanta Hawks v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images

UPDATE: Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis will both miss Saturday’s contest, per Dallas Morning News reporter Brad Townsend:

Trae Young was electric in leading the Atlanta Hawks to a strong victory on Thursday, with the team beginning its stretch run in optimal fashion. After a day of practice on Friday, the Hawks return to the floor at home in prime time on Saturday, when the Dallas Mavericks arrive for their annual visit.

The headline match-up of the evening is, quite obviously, the battle between Young and Luka Doncic, and it represents the only face-off between the two stars this season. Beyond that, however, the Hawks will be aiming to slow the NBA’s top-ranked offense, and Dallas presents challenges on that front. With that said, the Mavericks are susceptible on the defensive end — including the worst defensive turnover rate in the NBA — and Atlanta was fantastic offensively against a playoff-bound Miami team on Thursday.

From an injury standpoint, the Hawks continue to be without Clint Capela and Skal Labissiere, and there are other issues to consider. De’Andre Hunter (personal reasons) will miss Saturday’s game, leaving Atlanta short-handed on the wing. Under normal circumstances, that could conceivably pave the way for an uptick in usage for DeAndre’ Bembry, but the fourth-year wing is listed as doubtful with abdominal pain.

Because the Mavericks enter on the second night of a back-to-back, there is no formal injury report for Dallas as of Saturday morning. Atlanta does have the rest advantage, though, and the good folks in Las Vegas currently install the Hawks as six-point home underdogs, even without Hunter.

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: Saturday, Feb. 22, 7:30 pm ET

Location: State Farm Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

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

Streaming: Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass