Atlanta Hawks vs Washington Wizards: Lineups, preview & prediction 4/6/18

The Washington Wizards look to bolster their fading chances for the Southeast Division title Friday night when they host the struggling Atlanta Hawks.

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Washington (42-37) fell one game behind Miami for the Southeast Division title with three to play after Wednesday night’s 119-115 loss at Cleveland that completed a winless three-game road swing. John Wall had 28 points and 14 assists, but only two of those points came in the fourth quarter as the Wizards frittered away a 17-point lead in the final 7:34.

Wall also had a key turnover late on a bad pass in the final seconds after trying to drive into the lane on LeBron James. Bradley Beal added 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the Wizards shot 50 percent but allowed the Cavaliers to connect on 54.5 percent of their shots while making 13 of 27 from 3-point range.

Washington’s defense on their road trip was abysmal, allowing 117.3 points per game as opponents shot 52.7 percent overall and 43.9 percent (47 for 107) from beyond the arc. They were outscored 142-110 in the paint and allowed 63 points off their 49 turnovers.

Atlanta (22-57) need to win one of their final three games to avoid their first 60-loss season since going a franchise-worst 13-69 in 2004/05. The Hawks have lost 13 of their last 15 overall after being swept in a home-and-home series by the Miami Heat, capped with a 115-86 rout Tuesday night at home.

Taurean Prince responded from his second-half benching in Monday’s loss to score 20 points, but Atlanta shot just 36.7 percent overall and 30 percent (nine for 30) from 3-point range. The Hawks have been held under 100 points in eight of their last nine games, averaging 96.1 points in that span while being outscored by 9.9 per contest.

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