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Struggling Hawks visit Brooklyn

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Milwaukee Bucks v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Good start to the final stretch of the season. The Brooklyn Nets opened the month of April against the Orlando Magic and came away with a quality ten point victory last night. This is the last back-to-back of the season for Brooklyn. They play every other day from here on out.

The opponent this evening will be the Atlanta Hawks. They're on track to make the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season, but this is their worst season in a while. They lost to the Bulls in Chicago yesterday and have lost eight out of their last ten games. After this, they have three days off before hosting the Celtics in a potential playoff preview on Thursday night.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WCBS 880 AM on radio. Tip off after 6 PM.

Injuries

Quincy Acy and Joe Harris are out of this game.

Thabo Sefolosha didn’t play yesterday due to a groin injury and his status for this one is unknown. Malcolm Delaney didn’t play yesterday due to a back injury and is likely to miss this game as well. Paul Millsap has been out since the middle of March with a knee injury, but may suit up today.

The game

The Hawks won the first game in January and the second one in early March while the Nets won the third game last week.

Brook Lopez will look to cap off a successful birthday weekend with another great performance. The big guy scored a game high 30 points and knocked down a pair of three pointers in 28 minutes. He'll be matched up with familiar foe Dwight Howard. Dwight's been a glass eater this season and hopes to keep it going today. By playing tonight, he will tie his games played total from last season and will surpass it on Thursday. As he gets further away from the injuries that ruined his tenures in Houston and Los Angeles, he'll look like the player that was a consistent All Star.

Trevor Booker has the chance to put together another excellent game. He scored 23 points in 23 minutes and snagged eight rebounds along the way. He's adjusted well to coming off the bench and assuming Millsap is back, Book's work on the glass will come in handy.

This will likely be the 18th straight game where Kenny Atkinson will start Lopez, Jeremy Lin, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LeVert and Randy Foye. The Nets are 7-10 so far with this group starting.

Player to watch: Kent Bazemore

It’s been a disappointing season for the Dapmaster. After signing a big contract over the summer, he was expected to build on his first two seasons in Atlanta. However, it hasn't worked out that way. His three-point shooting is down and just returned from an injury that cost him five games. Luckily for him, a great final month will erase all of the disappointments from earlier in the season.

Bazemore was on the Nets’ radar last summer. He had virtually identical offers —$72 million over four years— from the Hawks, Nets and Lakers, but chose to return to Atlanta.

Sean Kilpatrick has been the team's top scorer coming off of the bench and that should continue tonight. On the season, he's averaged 13 points a night, but there is one area where he can work to improve on this summer. He's only shooting 34 percent from three point range and on a team that relies on threes as much as Brooklyn, he can do better on that front.

From the Vault

If the past is any indication, the Undertaker will have another show stealing match at Wrestlemania this year.

More reading: Peachtree Hoops