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Preview: Hawks host Wizards, look to nail down playoff position

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NBA: Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks (38-31) will look to clinch a top-6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs when they face of Washington Wizards (32-37) on Wednesday evening. The two teams will meet for the second time in three days after the Hawks took home a win on Monday evening despite the game having some historical significance for the Wizards.

Russell Westbrook made NBA history in a losing effort Monday, breaking Oscar Robertson’s career triple-doubles record but coming short in the final moments. The Hawks held on for the 125-124 win in yet another solid team performance. They had a chance to take care of the Wizards, as they led by nine with under five minutes to play, but ultimately held off the late Washington push and inched closer to locking up a top-6 seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Hawks will clinch avoiding the play-in if they get a victory on Wednesday, and with the New York Knicks loss on Tuesday evening, they could also move to sole possession the No. 4 seed with a win. They would still likely need the Knicks to lose another game before the end of the season while winning out themselves to hold the No. 4 spot, as the Knicks have the tiebreaker with Atlanta after taking home wins in all three matchups with the Hawks this season.

Injuries

De’Andre Hunter (injury management) is out for Wednesday’s game. Hunter is expected to return to the lineup to play Thursday vs. Orlando. The Hawks seemingly wanted to avoid forcing him into a back-to-back coming back off of the injury, which seems wise given how long the knee has been an issue.

Kevin Huerter (right hip soreness) is probable, while Tony Snell (right Achilles soreness) is questionable. Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness) remains out.

Washington will again be without Bradley Beal (hamstring) on Wednesday. Thomas Bryant and Deni Avdija remain out.

The Line

Atlanta sits as 6.5-point favorites over the Wizards as of early Wednesday morning, for those who may be interested. The Hawks were an 8-point favorite on Monday over Washington, though obviously did not cover in the 125-124 win.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, May 12, 7:00 pm ET

Location: State Farm Arena

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

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

Streaming: Watch ESPN, Bally Sports App