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Preview: Hawks host Hornets to begin two-game set

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Charlotte Hornets v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

For the second consecutive game, the Atlanta Hawks held a 15-point second half lead on Monday evening, only to see the advantage evaporate and morph into a home defeat. On Wednesday, Trae Young and company will take the floor against the Charlotte Hornets at State Farm Arena with an eye toward ending that brief losing skid.

Wednesday’s match-up against the Hornets is the first of a scheduled two-game set, as the two teams will have a rematch on Saturday in Charlotte. Like the Hawks, the Hornets enter on a losing streak, though the visitors have lost three consecutive games.

Entering Wednesday, our friends at Cleaning the Glass rate Charlotte as a bottom-five offensive team that is below-average statistically across the board. The Hornets do have strong perimeter creation with Gordon Hayward, LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and Devonte Graham, though Graham is off to a shaky start in 2020-21 after leading the way a season ago.

Defensively, the Hornets are approximately league-average to this point, but they do have a noted strength in forcing turnovers. That moves ball security to the top of Atlanta’s priority list offensively, and turnovers are an area in which the Hawks have struggled at times in the past.

Though the Hawks are the more talented team playing at home in this matchup, nothing can be taken for granted, and Atlanta is still battling widespread injury issues. Danilo Gallinari, Kris Dunn, Onyeka Okongwu and Tony Snell remain sidelined, and Rajon Rondo is now out for at least the next three games with a knee issue. Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle stiffness) is probable after leaving Monday’s game in the second half.

Charlotte is without only Cody Zeller (hand) in this game, and the Hornets will be able to utilize a relatively normal rotation as a result. Still, the Hawks are listed as the betting favorites at home, and Atlanta will be expected to take care of business to stop the bleeding of a two-game losing streak.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, Jan. 6, 7:30 pm ET

Location: State Farm Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

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

Streaming: Fox Sports Go; NBA League Pass (out of market)