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Preview: Hawks travel to OKC to kick off final road trip before break

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks (14-18) travel west for a matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder (13-19) Friday evening, fresh off an energizing win over the Boston Celtics. Danilo Gallinari, who spent last season with Oklahoma City, set a franchise record with ten made three-pointers in the game.

Atlanta also set a team-record for triples, knocking down 23 threes vs. the Celtics Wednesday evening. Trae Young also had an outstanding game, scoring 33 points on 12-of-23 shooting to go along with seven assists.

The Thunder come in losers of seven out of their last ten, but did pick up a win Wednesday evening on a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Lu Dort. Their playoff roster from last team has been deconstructed, with Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns), Gallinari, and Steven Adams (New Orleans Pelicans) all moving on to other teams.

Oklahoma City ranks 27th (12th in defense, 30th in offense) in the NBA with a -5.6 net rating, while Atlanta is 13th, and back above the break-even mark with a 0.3 net rating (9th in offense, 22nd in defense) after the big win over Boston Wednesday.

Going deeper, the Thunder surprisingly make slightly more three-pointers per game (13.0, 34.8%) for the season than the Hawks (12.5, 36.4), albeit on the lower percentage. Oklahoma City ranks 24th in the league in TS% (55.2), while the Hawks are 17th with a mark of 56.7%.

Atlanta should have an edge on the glass as well, as the Thunder don’t quite match up with the likes of Clint Capela and John Collins inside, as promising of a prospect as Darius Bazley may be.

There will also be a matchup between point guards from the 2018 draft class as Young and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are set to duel it out as the engine of each offense. Gilgeous-Alexander scored 42 of the team’s 102 points in the Thunder’s win on Wednesday, and he averages 23.5 points per game on the season to go along with 6.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds.


Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness) is questionable, while the Hawks remain without De’Andre Hunter, Bodgan Bogdanovic and Kris Dunn. Rajon Rondo is off the report entirely.

The Thunder have a slew of absences. George Hill (thumb procedure), Hamidou Diallo (groin), and Al Horford (rest) will all be out on Friday. Oklahoma City also has Trevor Ariza (not with team) out as well as three players rostered players in the G League bubble.

The Line

Atlanta sits as 5-point road favorites as of late Thursday evening, for those who have interest. The Hawks are a favorite for the second straight road game after being given a 5.5-point edge in Cleveland Tuesday night.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Friday, Feb. 26, 8:00 pm ET

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena

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

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

Streaming: Fox Sports Go