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Reply To: NBA • Friday Service Plays • 1/15/16

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Preview: Atlanta At Milwaukee

When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, January 15, 2016
Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Atlanta Hawks look like an NBA championship contender when they are playing well but can look like the worst team in the league on certain nights. The Hawks will try to avoid too terrible performances in a row when they visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.

Atlanta averaged 123 points in easy wins over the Philadelphia 76ers and Chicago Bulls before opening the road trip at stumbling Charlotte on Wednesday and falling flat in a 107-84 trouncing. The Hornets had lost seven in a row before running the Hawks off the floor and limiting Atlanta to 37 percent from the floor. The Bucks are just as inconsistent but have won their last two at home and are hoping to steal another win against the Hawks before heading out on the road for four straight. Milwaukee followed up a 106-101 home win over the Chicago Bulls with a 106-101 loss at Washington on Wednesday that saw the team surrender 35 fourth-quarter points.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Atlanta), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

ABOUT THE HAWKS (23-16): Forward Paul Millsap was the only player in the lineup to score in double figures with 20 points on Wednesday, and the most disappointing performance may have come from center Al Horford. The veteran went for a season-high 33 points and 10 rebounds in a 120-105 win over Chicago on Saturday but managed only two points and two boards against a Charlotte team missing starting center Al Jefferson. Horford turned in a double-double in four of the previous six games before falling off the pace on Wednesday.

ABOUT THE BUCKS (16-25): Horford should get another challenge from the Milwaukee center Greg Monroe, who recorded his third straight double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds on Wednesday at Washington. Monroe’s big night was part of a 52.8 percent shooting effort from the Bucks, who shot themselves in the foot with 27 turnovers. That marked a departure from the performance in the previous game, when Milwaukee recorded five turnovers in the home win over the Bulls.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Bucks F Jabari Parker is averaging 17.3 points on 24-of-39 shooting in the last three games.

2. Millsap is 22-of-39 from the floor over the last three and scored at least 18 points in nine straight contests.

3. Atlanta has won three straight in the series, including both in Milwaukee last season.

PREDICTION: Hawks 112, Bucks 105