On Thursday night, basketball fans will be treated to a doubleheader of NBA games on national television. In the first of the two matchups, Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics pay a visit to Dwight Howard and the Atlanta Hawks. After last night's loss to the Cavaliers, the Celtics will be trying to keep pace with Cleveland for the No. 1 spot in the East. The Hawks are trying to take over Milwaukee for the fifth seed, although at this point, neither team will get home court advantage in the first round.

Here's a look at tonight's NBA game preview as well as how to watch the Celtics vs. Hawks live streaming online or on TV.

Boston vs. Atlanta preview

Last night saw the Boston Celtics fall to the Cleveland Cavs 114-91. The win by the Cavs put them a game ahead of Boston for the top spot in the East, with just three or four games left on the schedule. Boston will have to put on a winning streak and hope Cleveland loses in their upcoming games to have a chance at that top seed to start the postseason.

Otherwise, they'll look to be the No. 2 seed, and if the postseason started today, they'd have a first-round series against the No. 7 seed Chicago Bulls.

Atlanta has been disappointing with a two-game losing streak and a 2-8 record over their last ten games. They're currently sitting at the No. 6 seed in the NBA East and would draw a first-round matchup against the Toronto Raptors if the playoffs started today.

However, the Milwaukee Bucks (40-38) are sitting just a half game above them at the No. 5 spot. Thant means there could be some spots changing in the final games of the season for the NBA playoff picture.

In tonight's game, Boston will be without center Tyler Zeller. The Hawks have listed All-Star Paul Millsap, guard Malcolm Delaney, as well as forwards Kent Bazemore and Thabo Sefolosha all as out.

That will leave Dennis Schroder and Dwight Howard among those who try to get the win over the Celtics tonight.

Oddsmakers currently have Boston as a 1.5-point favorite heading into Atlanta. On the moneyline, the Celtics are -125 with the home team at +105. Tonight's over/under is around 210 points for the complete game. Boston has gone 23-33-1 against the spread this season as a favorite while the Hawks are 15-10 ATS as the underdog team.

How to watch it live

Tonight's NBA game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Live television coverage will be provided on TNT for fans around the country.

Cable and satellite viewers with TNT on their provider package may also be able to use the TNT Drama website or WatchTNT mobile apps to see a live streaming feed of tonight's game.

There's also a great free option to see tonight's Celtics vs. Hawks game live streaming online. The SlingTV channel streaming service currently offers a one-week free trial that customers could check out. The service provides a variety of channels in addition to TNT on their Sling Orange channel package. More details are available through Sling.com in the service and promotion.

NBA fans which team will win tonight's big matchup ahead of the playoffs: Atlanta or Boston?

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