John Wall and Bradley Beal, two longstanding thorns in the side of the Atlanta Hawks, will get their first opportunity to challenge their rebuilding rivals on Wednesday when the Washington Wizards visit Atlanta's State Farm Arena for the first time.
Beal averaged 22.3 points and 3.8 assists against the Hawks last year and has a career average of 17.7 points and 3.3 assists. Wall averaged only 11.5 points and 8.0 assists against the Hawks last season, but has a career average of 18.2 points and 8.7 assists.
The Wizards (10-14) bring a two-game winning streak into the second game of their four-city road trip. Washington opened the swing with a 110-107 victory over the New York Knicks.
Atlanta (5-19) has dropped three in a row, including a 128-111 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday.
Wall and Beal continue to build their legacy with the team.
Wall (21.3 points per game) is third on the team's minutes played list; he's just under 9,000 behind Elvin Hayes. Earlier this season he picked up his 500th career 3-pointer and passed Wes Unseld for third place on the team's all-time scoring list. Beal, 25, needs 85 3-pointers to become the youngest to ever reach 1,000. He brings a club-record streak of 42 consecutive games with a 3-point basket. Beal averages 21.9 points. They are trying to both average 20 points for the for the first time since 2016-17.
The two ball-handlers have fed the inside game, too. The Wizards average 48.4 points in the paint, with Otto Porter (11.7 points) one of the beneficiaries.
"In order to be a good team, a great team, we have to be able to win on the road," Beal said. "If we want to have success down the road, that's something we're going to have to do."
The Hawks are led in scoring by John Collins (15.9 points), Trae Young (15.8 points) and Taurean Price (15.0 points).
But Prince is expected to be out for an extended time after spraining his left ankle against the Warriors and leaving the arena on crutches. An x-ray was negative and an MRI was scheduled for Tuesday.
The Hawks continue to have trouble with turnovers. They committed 18 on Monday and average 17.8, worst in the league. The Wizards are second in league in forcing turnovers (16.2 per game).
"We have got to value the ball a little better than we have," Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce said.
The teams split the four-game series last season, the second time that has happened since 2010. Washington has won at least one game in Atlanta the past three seasons. Under former Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer, the Hawks held the Wizards to fewer than 100 points in four of their last losses to Atlanta.
In a scheduling quirk, the team teams will play against in Atlanta on Dec. 18, then play the final two games in Washington on Jan. 2 and Feb. 4.
Boston is without Atlanta native and former Hawk Dwight Howard, who is out with after a lumbar microdiscectomy procedure. Jeff Green missed a game with lower back spasms, but returned to play 15 minutes against the Knicks. Atlanta is still missing Alex Poythress (left ankle contusion), who has not played in the last eight games.