Washington Wizards pull ahead in series with 103-99 win over Atlanta Hawks

By Benjamin Standig, The Sports Xchange  |  April 26, 2017 at 10:26 PM
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WASHINGTON -- Bradley Beal scored 27 points and John Wall had 20 points and 14 assists as the Washington Wizards regained control of their first-round playoff series with a 103-99 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

The fourth-seeded Wizards lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series 3-2.

Dennis Schroder had 29 points and 11 assists for the fifth-seeded Hawks. Paul Millsap finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Schroder's fifth 3-pointer cut the Wizards' lead to 101-99 with 1:10 remaining, but Wall countered with a jumper on Washington's next possession. The Hawks missed their final two attempts from the field.

Otto Porter scored 17 points and sank 9 of 10 free throws for the Wizards. Washington offset another poor shooting night from the 3-point arc (7 of 24) by making 22 of 27 free throws.

The series shifts to Atlanta for Game 6. The Hawks won Game 3 and 4 at home by an average margin of 14 points.

Washington led 98-91 after Marcin Gortat's first field goal of the game with 5:00 left. Neither team scored again until 3:20 remained when Washington's Markieff Morris was called for his fifth personal followed by a technical moments later.

Schroder's technical free throw started a 5-0 spurt and set up the final moments.

Winning the points in the paint battle helped Atlanta thrive during the opening four games. Washington turned the tables with a 40-36 advantage while nearly doubling the Hawks in fast-break points 20-12.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 15 points for the Hawks. Atlanta shot 40.9 percent from the field and 14 of 21 from the free throw line.

Leading 50-49 at halftime, the Wizards opened the third quarter with a 19-9 run with Wall and Porter accounting for 15 points in that stretch. Wall's 3-pointer gave Washington a 69-58 lead, but Atlanta countered with a Hardaway-fueled 11-0 run before the Wizards entered the fourth quarter leading 83-79.

Schroder sank all four of his 3-point attempts and scored 16 points in the first half, but the Wizards entered the locker room with a 50-49 lead after trailing 34-27.

Beal scored 11 points in the first quarter but finished 1 of 9 from beyond the arc.

Gortat had five points and 10 rebounds. He took his first free throws of the series in the fourth quarter, making 3 of 4.

NOTES: The Wizards, already shorthanded in the frontcourt, lost big man Jason Smith in the second half with a left calf contusion. ... Game 6 is scheduled for Friday night in Atlanta. ... Wizards C Ian Mahinmi (calf) remains sidelined, but after Tuesday's practice expressed optimism of a return in the series. ... Hawks rookie F Taurean Prince scored in double figures in his fifth straight game, finishing with 10 points.

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