The Atlanta Hawks, currently in third place in the Eastern Conference, looked to gain their sixth straight win at home against the tenth-ranked Washington Wizards. In the past ten games, John Wall had eight double-doubles, meaning that Jeff Teague and the Hawks' defense would have their hands full.
In the end, Wall and the Wizards would come out with the win.
Hawks' Bench Steps Up
The Wizards started the game with great pace and momentum, putting points up early. Early on in the first quarter, the Hawks trailed the Wizards by a few points. With under a minute left to play Atlanta was able to tie the game at 27, and the period ended in their favor, 30-27, after a three point shot by Dennis Schroder.
The Hawks' bench, including Tim Hardaway Jr., Thabo Sefolosha, and Schroder, was largely responsible for the Hawks' initial lead and the ability to maintain that lead early into the second quarter. Although the Hawks had taken the lead, the Wizards were not far behind, due to shots made by Bradley Beal, Nene Hilario and Jared Dudley.
With just over four minutes left in the half, the game was tied yet again at 48 points. Washington took the lead at 51-48 temporarily with a three-point jump shot from 24 feet out by Wall assisted by Otto Porter. For the remainder of the second, the lead moved back and forth between teams. The half ended with the Wizards on top, 61-59.
In the first half, the Wizards led the shooting game at 51 percent while the Hawks shot 49 percent from the field. Atlanta led in free throws, going 9-11 while the Wizards went 6-12. Washington also led in rebounds, assists, and turnovers.
Wall Leads Wizards To A Win
The third period began with missed shots for the Hawks and an early foul on Teague, as Wall and the Wizards continued to execute plays. Minutes into the quarter, the Wizards took their biggest lead of the night, with the score at 68-59.
The Hawks were able to cut the deficit with the help off the bench yet again. Shots by Sefolosha and Hardaway Jr. helped them claw back into the game. Nevertheless, the Wizards improved their shooting to 53 percent and continued to thrive off of rebounds, maintaining a steady lead. The third quarter came to an end with the Hawks trailing 89-86.
Atlanta struggled to find their offensive rhythm in the fourth quarter, failing to put up points as Washington increased their lead. With the Wizards' lead taking off further, the Hawks were unable to strike a comeback, finishing the game and their five-game winning streak at home with a 117-102 loss.
John Wall led the Wizards with yet another double-double of 27 points and 14 assists. For the Hawks, Jeff Teague had 23 points and was able to somewhat offset the scoring of Wall. All Washington's starters hit double-digits Monday night.
The two teams will meet again Wednesday night, March 23, at 6:30 PM EST at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.