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NBA Preview: Atlanta Hawks (24-30) at Charlotte Hornets (12-41)

The Charlotte Hornets are riding a two-game winning streak for just the second time this season and will reach for three straight for the first time when they face the visiting Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

The Hornets and Hawks will be playing their final game for each before the All-Star break.

Trade-deadline acquisitions Grant Williams, Seth Curry and Tre Mann have given the Hornets a boost, most recently combining for 50 points during Monday’s 111-102 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Williams supplied a team-high 21 points, Curry had 18 and Mann chipped in 11.

Perhaps Atlanta is a favorable matchup for the Hornets, who beat the Hawks 116-110 in the season opener for both teams.

However, prior to winning the previous two games, Charlotte had won only nine other games since that Oct. 25 meeting with Atlanta.

Of the Hornets’ starters that night, three (Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, P.J. Washington) have been traded, while the other two (LaMelo Ball, Mark Williams) have been hampered by injuries. Williams (back) hasn’t played since Dec. 8, and Ball (ankle) has played just seven games since Nov. 26.

Miles Bridges has stepped up for short-handed Charlotte, averaging 23.4 points and 7.3 rebounds over his past 17 games. He had 20 points and 10 boards on Monday.

Even though the Hornets are starting to take steps in the right direction, Clifford isn’t fully satisfied. Charlotte committed 19 turnovers against the Pacers, including 12 in the first half alone.

The Hawks are hoping to improve as well, especially after a modest two-game winning streak was snapped with Monday night’s 136-126 home loss to the Chicago Bulls. Still, Atlanta has won six of its past nine games.

The Hawks had lost three straight road games until Friday night’s 127-121 victory at Philadelphia. The game in Charlotte marks just the third road assignment for Atlanta since Jan. 24.

Star guard Trae Young posted a team-high 23 points for the Hawks in the season’s first matchup with Charlotte.

Young had 19 points against Chicago following an 18-point effort against the Houston Rockets, meaning he enters Wednesday night’s game coming off back-to-back performances with less than 20 points for just the second time this season. However, he’s averaging 26.6 points per game in seven February contests.

Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, who had 28 points on Monday, realizes that the new-look Hornets will provide a challenge.

The Hawks are eager to learn more about the status of center Onyeka Okongwu, who had 11 points and 12 rebounds against the Bulls before exiting the game late due to a toe injury.

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