NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 22nd (All times eastern)
Boston Celtics (18-21) at Atlanta Hawks (7-30), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of teams aiming to get back on the winning track tangle this evening, when the Atlanta Hawks and former teammate Antoine Walker host the Boston Celtics at Philips Arena.
Atlanta has dropped three straight, 10 of 12, 15 of 18 and 16 of its last 20 games overall. The Hawks' woes continued on Friday night, as they fell 95-85 to the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.
Walker scored a game-high 25 points to go along with seven rebounds for Atlanta, and Al Harrington tallied 21 in the loss. Harrington and Walker were the only two Hawks in double figures. The Hawks have lost three consecutive games and four of their last five.
Atlanta shot just 34.2 percent from the field, including 3-of-10 (.300) from three-point range. The Hawks hit just 26-of-39 from the free throw line and committed 17 turnovers. Atlanta outrebounded Chicago 50-37 for the game.
Josh Smith finished with a game-high 12 rebounds in the loss, but he hit only 2-of-6 from the field.
The Hawks, who are beginning a two-game homestand tonight, are 5-15 in their friendly confines this season. Atlanta has lost four of six and eight of its last 11 home games.
Boston slipped out of first place in the Atlantic Division on Friday night, as it fell 104-98 to the New Jersey Nets at Continental Airlines Arena. Paul Pierce scored 22 points with seven rebounds to lead the Celtics, who had a two-game winning streak end and fell a 1/2-game behind idle Philadelphia.
Gary Payton added 16 points in defeat and Ricky Davis scored 13 off the bench. Jiri Welsch tacked on 10 points in the contest.
Boston shot 40 percent and made just six of its 21 shots beyond the arc. The Celtics did hit 28-of-37 (.757) from the free throw line.
Celtics activated rookie guard Delonte West before the game. West, who was placed on the injured list December 1 with a fractured right fourth metacarpal, played with a padded glove on his hand and scored five points in five minutes
Boston has lost its last eight on the road to fall to 5-15 on the season. The Celtics are in the midst of a three-game road swing.
Boston got the best of the Hawks, 106-94, in the first meeting of the season last Friday. The Celtics have won two straight after losing the last three meetings. In fact, Boston has won seven of 10, nine of 14 and 13 of the last 19 meetings. However, the Celtics have dropped eight of 12 and 16 of their last 21 in Atlanta.
01/22 10:25:34 ET