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Preview: Hawks continue road trip in Boston

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks (11-16) take on the Boston Celtics (14-13) from TD Garden Wednesday evening, with the visitors looking to avoid a five-game losing streak. Notably, head coach Lloyd Pierce (birth of child) has returned to Atlanta and will miss Wednesday’s game. Nate McMillan will run the show in his absence.

The Celtics bring their own set of struggles into Wednesday’s contest, but did pick up a win last night over the Denver Nuggets in the first game of the home back-to-back. Atlanta has lost seven straight to Boston, with the last win coming all the way back in the 2017-2018 season.

Boston swept three games vs. the Hawks last season before the season was suspended, and all four contests between the two teams in 2018-19. This should come as no surprise, as the Celtics have had the more talented roster for some time.

The guests come in losers of their last four games, while the Celtics are losers of four of their last six even after the win last night. Despite their so-so record, Boston comes in as the No. 4 seed in what has so far been a middling Eastern Conference.

The Celtics rank 11th in the NBA in net rating (+1.4), while the Hawks continue to slide in this area (17th, -0.4). Atlanta ranks 13th in pace, while Boston ranks 20th.

The hosts will be led by Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, which comes as no surprise. The tandem is combining for over 50 points per game. While the Celtics are a little thin in the frontcourt, Kemba Walker rounds out a quality perimeter attack.

The Hawks obviously come into Wednesday evening desperate for a win, losers of their last four contests, including another underwhelming fourth quarter performance Monday night in Madison Square Garden vs. the Knicks. Overall, the guests are losers of 15 of their last 22, the Hawks are desperate for any sort of positive momentum.

In the injury department, Atlanta will be without Rajon Rondo (back), along with the trio of De’Andre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kris Dunn, who all remain sidelined. Tony Snell (achilles soreness) is questionable.

The Celtics could be without big man Daniel Theis (finger), who did not play Tuesday evening vs. the Nuggets. Guards Marcus Smart (calf) and Romeo Langford (wrist) are also likely to remain out.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, Feb. 17, 7:30 pm ET

Location: TD Garden

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass (out of market)

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

Streaming: Fox Sports Go