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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, February 4th (All times eastern)

Atlanta Hawks (14-31) at Washington Wizards (21-23), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Washington Wizards open a five-game homestand tonight, as they welcome the streaking Atlanta Hawks to the MCI Center.

Washington will try and get back on the winning track this evening. On Wednesday, Mike James ended with 29 points, including two pivotal three- pointers down the stretch, as the Toronto Raptors held on to defeat the Wizards, 117-112, at the Air Canada Centre.

Gilbert Arenas led all scorers with 35 points and Antawn Jamison netted 22 in the loss to the Hawks for Washington, which had a two-game winning streak halted.

The Wizards, who will also host Orlando, Golden State, Cleveland and Philadelphia on the current stand, are 13-9 at home this season. They have won two in a row at the MCI Center.

Atlanta will attempt to win four straight games for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign when they pieced together a four-game winning streak from April 9-14.

On Friday, Joe Johnson's rainbow jumper with seven-tenths of a second remaining gave Atlanta its first three-game winning streak in almost two years with a 96-94 victory over the Orlando Magic at Philips Arena.

The Hawks last won three in a row from April 9-12, 2004. Atlanta also won its 14th contest of the season, one more than its entire win total of last season.

Johnson paced Atlanta with 23 points and controlled the offense with 11 assists and zero turnovers in the win over Washington. Al Harrington posted a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Josh Smith also recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards.

The Hawks are 4-17 as the visitor this season.

This is the third meeting of the season between the clubs. Washington won the two previous contests as it picked up wins at home and on the road. The Hawks are scheduled to host the Wizards on April 7th at Philips Arena in the fourth and final contest between the squads in the 2005-06 campaign.

The Wizards have won seven straight after losing the last two meetings in this series. Atlanta has lost four straight after winning its last two at Washington.

Atlanta's last win in this series was on March 12, 2004 at home.

02/04 10:18:41 ET

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