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Preview: Bobcats (43-39) at Hawks (38-44)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: April 14, 2014 7:30 PM EDT
  

The Charlotte Bobcats have won six of seven and are on the verge of securing the second winning season in franchise history. Coach Steve Clifford, however, would like to see some better focus from his team before it heads into the postseason.

While hoping to get Kemba Walker back in the lineup Monday night, the visiting Bobcats will seek to avoid a 12th consecutive loss to another playoff-bound club, the Atlanta Hawks.

Charlotte (41-39) has finished above .500 only in 2009-10, going 44-38 before getting swept by Orlando in the opening round. The Bobcats secured its first non-losing season since then with a 111-105 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday.

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Charlotte led the lowly 76ers by 14 with 6 1/2 minutes to go before allowing them to get within four with 1:44 remaining. The Bobcats were coming off a 106-103 loss to Boston on Friday, which ended their season-best win streak at five and denied them a season-high fourth consecutive road victory.

"We haven't been the same team the last two games," Clifford said. "Whether we exhaled after clinching (a playoff spot), or whatever it is, I don't know. Whatever it is, we have two games to get it back."

Getting Walker back from an injured groin might help. The point guard, averaging a career-best 17.8 points and 6.1 assists, has sat out the last two games.

His replacement in the starting lineup, Luke Ridnour, was one of seven players in double figures Saturday with 12 points and had a team-best eight assists.

Al Jefferson led the way with 29 points and 12 rebounds, a franchise-record sixth straight game with at least 20 points and 10 boards as well as his seventh consecutive double-double.

Jefferson's performance helped keep Charlotte within one game of sixth-place Washington in the Eastern Conference. The Bobcats hold the tiebreaker over the Wizards, who host Miami on Monday night, because of their 3-1 record in the season series.

Jefferson, though, hasn't been able to break Atlanta's dominance over his team. The Bobcats' 11-game losing streak to the Hawks is currently the fifth-longest of any team versus one opponent. Charlotte's 16-game skid to Miami is tied for the longest, and the Bobcats may face the Heat in the first round if they remain seventh in the East.

Jefferson is averaging a team-best 16.7 points - 5.2 lower than his season mark - and 14.0 rebounds in three games against the Hawks this season. He had 24 points and a season-high 23 boards in a 118-116 overtime loss Dec. 28 in Atlanta, where he's averaged 25.0 points and 16.7 boards in his last three games.

The Hawks (37-43) enter this game after clinching their seventh consecutive playoff berth and extending the NBA's second-longest active streak with a 98-85 victory over Miami on Saturday.

Jeff Teague scored 25 points in his team's third straight win and Lou Williams had 18 of his 23 in the fourth quarter.

"I'm happy that we get to play more games and I get to talk more about improving and getting better each practice," said coach Mike Budenholzer, whose team is locked into the No. 8 seed. "We want to build something here."

Williams had a season-high 28 points in his only game against Charlotte this season, the home victory in December. Paul Millsap has averaged 30.5 points in the past two matchups.

Charlotte has lost 12 of 13 in Atlanta.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 CHA  -210   -5   195 
 ATL  +175   +5   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 CHA  -200   -5   194.5 
 ATL  +170   +5   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 CHA  41%   76%   29% 
 ATL  59%   24%   71% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NBA HEAD TO HEAD
 Mar 17, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 ATL 97 Cover: 17 
 CHA 83 Under: 180 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Dec 28, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 CHA 116 Cover: 4 
 ATL 118 Over: 234 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Nov 11, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 ATL 103 Cover: 7 
 CHA 94 Over: 197 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Oct 8, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 ATL 87 Cover: 1 
 CHA 85 Under: 172 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Jan 23, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 ATL 104 Cover: 9.5 
 CHA 92 Over: 196 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Dec 13, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 CHA 90 Over: 203 
 ATL 113 Cover: 13 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Nov 28, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 CHA 91 Cover: 6.5 
 ATL 94 Under: 185 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Nov 23, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 ATL 101 Cover: 6.5 
 CHA 91 Over: 192 
 Tools:   Recaps

 NBA PREVIEWS
 Monday, Apr 14
 
    Celtics at 76ers
7:05 PM EDT
    Heat at Wizards
7:05 PM EDT
    Bucks at Raptors
7:05 PM EDT
    Bobcats at Hawks
7:35 PM EDT
    Thunder at Pelicans
8:05 PM EDT
    Magic at Bulls
8:05 PM EDT
    Spurs at Rockets
8:05 PM EDT
    Lakers at Jazz
9:05 PM EDT
    Grizzlies at Suns
10:05 PM EDT
    Timberwolves at Warriors
10:35 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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