The Atlanta Hawks, coming off a dominant performance at the Staples Center on Thursday night, are a long shot to get a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
However, the Hawks are a little closer to their own playoff destiny than they have been in years.
They are a game and a half back of the eighth seed in the Western Conference and are riding a four-game winning streak.
Atlanta’s offense has been a concern, and the Hawks defense has been particularly suspect lately.
With that said, the Timberwolves are a very good defensive team.
The Wolves are one of the league’s worst defenses, but they rank sixth in points allowed per 100 possessions.
They also allow the eighth-fewest points per possession.
With a chance to make the playoffs, Minnesota could be in a better position to make a statement.
If they win tonight, the Wolves will be the No. 8 seed and they could clinch home court advantage in the first round.
However the Timberwolves have to beat the Hawks tonight, so the chances of them making the playoffs is pretty slim.
Minnesota (19-20) at Atlanta (19.5) The Timberwolves are riding their four-point lead into the final night of the regular season, but it is a big one.
The Hawks are the only team in the league to have a better net rating than Minnesota (0.96), but Atlanta is only allowing 97.1 points per 100 points.
In the season series, Minnesota is 6-5 on the road, with a record of 11-7.
Minnesota has won six of seven on the trip.
The Timberwolves have scored at least 100 points in three of those games, but Atlanta has been much better.
They have scored 108.1 in its last six games, including a season-high 107.1 on Saturday.
The game has been postponed three times in Minnesota history because of the outbreak, but the Timberwolves won in the seventh round of the playoffs in 2004.
Atlanta (18-21) at Minnesota (16.5): The Hawks and Timberwolves will meet in Minnesota on Sunday night for the eighth and final time in nine seasons.
The two teams will be in the same conference this season, and Atlanta will host Minnesota on Saturday night in an Eastern Conference semifinal.
The first matchup was last year when the Hawks defeated the Timberwolves 116-109.
In that game, the Hornets scored 107 points in the fourth quarter to win a franchise-record seventh straight game in the series.
Minnesota is the second seed in its own division.
It plays at the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, Nov. 6.