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By PAUL DIGIACOMO
(AP) -- The Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics have exhibited some inconsistent play this season. That was also the case in their first two meetings.
Atlanta looks to win consecutive games for just the second time since its 8-2 start Friday night when it visits a Boston team that's trying to avoid dropping three in a row for the first time since the opening week.
These teams met in Boston on Nov. 13 with the Celtics scoring the final 10 points to pull out a 106-93 victory. The next matchup came 11 days later in Atlanta, as the Hawks shot 56.3 percent, went 12 of 24 from 3-point range and scored 40 points in the fourth to win 121-97.
Atlanta matched its season high in points and had its best shooting performance of 2015-16 in that one before eclipsing both marks Wednesday against NBA-worst Philadelphia.
The Hawks shot 61.5 percent and went 10 for 21 from deep in a 127-106 victory to snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 7-10 since their hot start.
"This year we've been up and down so much as a team," center Al Horford said. "This is a great opportunity for us to start being more consistent and really build those good habits that we had last year."
Atlanta (15-12) shot 40.5 percent - 27.1 from beyond the arc - and averaged 86.7 points during the preceding three-game skid.
"Offensively we played harder, we cut harder, we screened harder," coach Mike Budenholzer said. "We moved the ball with pace."
Atlanta leads the Eastern Conference with 25.2 assists per game - Boston is second at 24.3 - and had 32 against the 76ers.
"We were aggressive, not just to make the assist pass, but to make passes within our offense that eventually leads to a better shot," guard Kyle Korver said. "That's a huge key for us. Everybody has to be engaged when you do that."
The Celtics (14-12) had a season-low 17 assists Wednesday in a 119-116 loss at Detroit, spoiling point guard Isaiah Thomas' career high-tying 38 points. Boston has lost three of four following a 6-2 stretch.
"We just needed to play better, that's the bottom line," coach Brad Stevens said. "That's a good team, and we know it was going to be a good team, and that we would have to play really well to win. We didn't play well."
The Celtics committed 18 turnovers after totaling 15 in their previous two games.
"We probably should've executed a little bit better, took care of the ball," forward Jonas Jerebko said. "It just didn't go our way today and we didn't have a great game. We gotta bounce back ... Atlanta's next."
Thomas had 23 points and 10 assists in the first meeting in Boston, while Paul Millsap scored 25 to lead seven Hawks in double figures in the one in Atlanta.
The Celtics have won 19 of the last 23 at home in this series, including playoffs. The Hawks have dropped six of eight on the road after opening 4-0.