The Atlanta Hawks fought hard until the end but came up short from taking control of the series. Atlanta must now win two straight games against the Washington Wizards to stay alive in the postseason.
Beal and Morris Lead the Offense for Wizards
Atlanta won the first quarter of the night 25-23 despite starting off the game shooting 39 percent from the floor. Washington also had their share of struggles shooting the ball early and missed six straight shots while the Hawks went on an 8-0 run. Bradley Beal and Markieff Morris combined for 17 of the Wizards first 23 points.
Wall Gets on Scoring Column
John Wall started the opening 12 minutes of the game scoreless, but dropped nine points in the second frame. The Wizards also got more offensive help from the likes of Otto Potter Jr. and Bojan Bogdanovic, who combined for 10 points. Heading into halftime, Washington outscored their opponents 27-24 and took a one-point lead at halftime.
Wizards Earn Largest Lead of Night
At the 7:29 minute of the third period, Washington took their largest lead of the night and lead 69-58. Atlanta did not back away and Tim Hardaway Jr. responded with back-to-back three-pointers. The Wizards endured and remain ahead 83-79 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Game went down to the Wire
With 1:10 remaining in regulation, Hawks guard Dennis Schroder drained a three-pointer to cut the Wizards lead to two points. Wall then retaliated with a jump shot to pushed the lead back up to 103-99. Atlanta had 11 seconds left to make a comeback down four points, but they did make the most of their possession. They wasted too much time moving the ball around and ended with Hardaway Jr. taking the final shot of the game with 1.9 left, which did not fall.
Beal lead his team with 27 points, five boards, and three blocks. Wall notched a double-double with 20 points and 14 assists. Porter Jr. summed up 17 points and Bogdanovic added 14 off the bench.
Schroder concluded with a double-double of his own with 29 points and 11 assists. He shot 5-of-6 from beyond the arc, matching a career-high in three's made in a game. Paul Millsap chipped in 21 points and rookie Taurean Prince scored 10.
When asked about the keys to winning the game, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said “We made a lot of winning basketball plays down the stretch.”
Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer commented on Schroder’s performance and said “The confidence he has, the competitiveness he has, rise this time of year. When he is shooting the ball like that, other things open up for his teammates and himself.”
Schroder gave his thoughts on his team’s overall performance and said “I think we was right there. We had a chance to win. We missed a couple of rebounds, we missed a couple of layups/shots. In crunch time, we gotta make those kind of plays. But I think overall, we shot the effort for 48 minutes. But Washington did some great plays down the stretch, and they won the game.”
Other Things to Note
-Schroder became the first Hawks player with 25+ PTS and 10+ AST in a playoff game since Pete Maravich did it on Apr. 4, 1973.
-Jason Smith suffered a left calf contusion in the second half and did not return.
-Dwight Howard picked up his fifth foul with 8:21 left in the contest and did not return. He logged in five points and 10 boards in 28 minutes of action.
-Morris received a technical with 3:20 remaining in the game after complaining to the referees about drawing his fifth foul.
-Taurean Prince made history and became the first Hawks rookie to score at least 10 points in his first five playoff career games since Maravich did it in 1971.
Game 6 Details
The Wizards can close-out the series went it heads back to the Philips Arena in Atlanta for Game 6. The game will be on Friday, Apr. 28, at 7:30 p.m. E.T. Catch the game on ESPNU/NBA TV.