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Washington Wizards use defense to steamroll Hawks

By Ben Standig, The Sports Xchange
Washington Wizards use defense to steamroll Hawks
Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards held off the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday. Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON -- Bradley Beal scored 19 points and Markieff Morris had 18 as the Washington Wizards rolled past the Atlanta Hawks for a 113-94 victory on Saturday night.

Kelly Oubre Jr. also had 18 points for the Wizards (7-5), who won back-to-back games for the first time since opening the season 3-0. Washington shot 53.8 percent from the field and led by as many as 25 points in the first meeting with Atlanta since winning last season's first-round playoff series.

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Washington's defense impressed for a second consecutive game. Atlanta shot 41 percent from the field and had 24 turnovers, resulting in 39 points for the Wizards.

Taurean Prince scored 19 points and Marco Belinelli 15 for the Hawks (2-11). Atlanta dropped its third game in a row and second in as many days since defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-115 on Nov. 5. They lost 111-104 at Detroit on Friday.

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Dennis Schroder, Atlanta's leading scorer, thrived against Washington in the playoffs, averaging 24.7 points and 7.7 assists in the six-game playoff series against the Wizards. The point guard missed all eight of his field goal attempts in the first half and finished with seven points on 2-of-16 shooting.

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John Wall skipped the team's morning shootaround because of illness, but the All-Star guard started per usual. He scored 10 points of his 13 points in the first half as Washington led 49-42.

Washington entered the fourth quarter leading 76-67. The Wizards' oft-maligned bench unit put the game away with a 12-0 run opening the final period and the Wizards eventually led 94-69 on Mike Scott's jumper. Scott had 10 points and the Wizards' bench outscored the Hawks 54-37.

NOTES: F Ersan Ilyasova (left knee bone bruise) did not travel with the team. F Mike Muscala (sprained left ankle) was inactive. ... Wizards F Markieff Morris missed the opening seven games after undergoing hernia surgery in September and serving a one-game suspension. After a couple rough outings, the power forward found his shooting rhythm. He hit 6-of-8 attempts in the first half for 13 points against Atlanta and finished 8 of 10 from the field. This followed Morris sinking 6-of-7 attempts for 16 points Thursday. ... Hawks G Malcolm Delaney started 3-of-3 from beyond the arc and scored all of his 11 points in the first half. ... The Wizards close out their four-game homestand Monday against Sacramento. Washington won the first meeting in Sacramento, 110-83 on Oct. 29. Atlanta visits the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.

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