The Atlanta Hawks have won three games in a row and five of their last six. Of those last six games, they are 4-0 on the road, and they are currently on a road trip with four games left to play away from home. Of those four games, only two of the teams carry a record above .500. Atlanta seems to have their swagger back, and if they can close out these four (or three of four) games, it could make for a nice second half of the season and possibly a nice long playoff run.
Atlanta's next game takes place in Utah against the Jazz, who has lost back to back games gainst the Boston Celtics and L.A. Clippers. They currently sit seventh in the Western Conference with a record of 31-26. At the trade deadline, there were rumors swirling around the Jazz, much like the Atlanta Hawks, but Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap are both still a part of the team. Utah is 21-7 at home. In the first meeting against the Jazz, Atlanta (at home) won by a score of 103-95, with former Jazz player Devin Harris leading the way for Atlanta with 24 points.
After Utah, the Hawks travel to Phoenix, who are just coming off of a win against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Suns are averaging 94.6 points per game and are giving up an average of 100.2 points per game. With the team doing poorly and looking to the future, there are rumblings coming from veteran players (Shannon Brown) about not getting the playing time that is probably deserved. The Suns have lost 9 out of their last 12 games.
From Phoenix, it is on to Hollywood, Baby! The Lakers have been hot ever since Kobe Bryant declared that they would make the playoffs. They have won three of their last four (dropping their last game to the Denver Nuggets) and in between now and the Hawks, the Lakers face Minnesota, who just lost to Phoenix. The Timberwolves' current record is 20-33.
The final game of the road trip will probably be the toughest, considering the fact that they have the best overall recor of the four teams. This potentially touch matchup will be against the . Kenneth Faried and Andre Iguodala are stepping up with Danilo Galinari out, but he should return in time to face Atlanta. Denver has recently recorded back-to-back wins, but they only hold a record of 12-19 at home. They faced the Hawks in early December, and Atlanta won that contest 108-104, with Al Horford going for 25 points and 12 boards, and Josh Smith performing some late game heroics.
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