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- The Hawks have a shot at their first winning streak since Christmas week, having ended a two-game losing streak on Monday night by beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-96. The last time Atlanta had consecutive wins was Dec. 22-29, 2012, when the Hawks won four straight – against the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers at home, and against the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road.
- Meanwhile, the Bobcats are looking to break out of a long malaise at home – they’ve lost 15 consecutive games at Time Warner Cable Arena, dating back to Nov. 21, 2012. Wednesday’s game against the Hawks is the third of a four-game homestand for Charlotte, with the first two games both decided in the final minutes – a four-point loss to the Sacramento Kings on Saturday, and a six-point loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday.
- While the Hawks are still second in the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division, 4 and 1/2 games behind the defending NBA champion Miami Heat, they’ve been in somewhat of a slump during 2013. The Hawks are just 4-8 for the month of January, with losing streaks of four, two and two games over the span.
- If the Hawks have struggled badly during January, the Bobcats have been even worse – they’re 2-8 for the month, with both wins coming in road games, against the Detroit Pistons on Jan. 6, and to the Orlando Magic on Jan. 18.
- The Hawks have been beset by injuries as of late, with six players out or questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Bobcats. Forward Al Horford is out with a sore left leg that forced him to miss last Friday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets and has limited his practice time.Guard Lou Williams is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee, forward-center Zaza Pachulia did not travel with the team after complaining of a sore Achilles tendon following Monday’s win over the Timberwolves, guard Devin Harris will sit with a sprained left ankle. And guard Anthony Morrow is out with a sore lower back. Forward DeShawn Stevenson will start despite a sore right knee.
- The Bobcats, on the other hand, have been relatively injury-free. Only one player – center Byron Mullins, who has missed 15 games with a severly sprained left ankle – is sidelined, and guard Gerald Henderson has been battling a sore lower back.
- Hawks starters: Stevenson, Josh Smith, Ivan Johnson, Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague.
- Bobcats starters: Henderson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Hakim Warrick, Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo.
– Bill Kiser