It seems like it's been forever since the Atlanta Hawks last won a game. The Hawks will try to get back to their winning ways when they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in a Sunday matinée at Philips Arena (2:00 PM, SportSouth, 97.9 FM).
After winning their first six in a row, the Hawks (6-4) hit a major roadblock, dropping their next four games. Ironically enough, the Hawks' last win came in a 113-103 win over the Timberwolves last Friday in Minneapolis. Since then, Atlanta's dropped four-point decisions to the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz and were blown out by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Atlanta hopes that facing the lowly Timberwolves -- a team that the Hawks have dominated -- will be the remedy for their losing ways. The Hawks have won nine straight over the T-Wolves dating and have taken seven straight at Philips Arena dating back to 2002. Atlanta has won those last nine games by an average of over 10 points a game.
Fortunately for Atlanta, they have not lost much ground in the Southeast as both the Magic (6-3) and the Miami Heat (6-4) have struggled early on this season. Atlanta enters Sunday tied with Miami and one-half game behind Miami for the division lead.
The Hawks set a season-low in points in their 90-86 loss to the Jazz on Friday. Marvin Williams and Maurice Evans returned to the Atlanta lineup in that one, but only to see the Hawks struggle from both inside the paint and at the free throw line. Al Horford missed a pair of crucial game-tying free throws with a chance to tie the game in the waining seconds of the loss. The Hawks missed 10 free throws in that one and failed to score in the last three-plus minutes.
Minnesota (3-7) on the other hand is coming off one of their best comebacks in recent history. Kevin Love became the first player since Moses Malone in 1982 to join the elite 30-30 club, notching 31 points with a franchise-best 31 rebounds in the come-from-behind 112-103 win over the woeful New York Knicks at the Target Center.
The Timberwolves, who trailed by as many as 22 in the third quarter in that one, used a 33-9 run bridging the final two quarters to win their second straight game.
Atlanta will look to avoid its first five-game losing streak since 2008 and first four-game slide at Philips Arena since the 2006-07 season.