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Preview: Hawks return home to face Bucks

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Hawks return home, look to extend winning streak.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Milwaukee Bucks Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks (30-25) return home Thursday for a matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks (34-20). The Hawks swept a two-game road trip, winning games over the Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors before returning to Atlanta. Heading into Thursday evening, this is a meeting between the third and fourth seeds in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Milwaukee is just 5-5 in its last ten games, while Atlanta has won seven out of their last ten, including their last three in a row. The Bucks sit behind only the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets in the East standings, and will be a tough test for a streaking Hawks group who sits as the fourth seed.

Milwaukee will be on a back-to-back, as they blew out the Minnesota Timberwolves 130-105 yesterday afternoon on the road before traveling south. Giannis Antetokounmpo did not play in the game, however.

The Bucks rank fourth in the NBA with a +6.6 net rating, ranking fifth in offense (116.1) and seventh in defense (109.6). While they aren’t quite the regular season juggernaut they have been in the past couple of seasons, Milwaukee is still a very good team and arguably better built for the postseason with the addition of Jrue Holiday.

Atlanta ranks ninth in the NBA with a +1.9 net rating, ranking ninth in offense (114) and 19th in defense (112.1). The Hawks were even more short-handed than what has become normal this season on their short road trip, but came out with two wins as Toronto and Charlotte have injury issues of their own. Atlanta will look to extend their winning streak to four games when they take the floor Thursday evening.

Injuries

For the Hawks, Trae Young (left calf contusion) and Danilo Gallinari (right foot soreness) are questionable. John Collins (ankle), De’Andre Hunter (knee), Tony Snell (ankle), Cam Reddish (Achilles) and Kris Dunn (ankle) remain out.

For the Bucks, their only listed injury for Wednesday’s game in Minnesota was Antetokounmpo, who was questionable (knee) before ultimately being ruled out before the game.

The Line

The status of this line will obviously be severely impacted by whether Antetokounmpo and Young take the floor Thursday evening. As of early Thursday morning, most books have yet to post a line with the status of each star in question heading into the afternoon.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Thursday, Apr. 15, 7:30 pm ET

Location: State Farm Arena

TV: TNT

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

Streaming: TNT Overtime