Several Wizards players got knocked down, injured, forced to leave the game, but it didn’t matter as this bruised Wizards squad goes into Atlanta and wins game 1, 104-98. This is the first time in NBA history that a team has won four straight game 1’s on the road (including last year’s series’).
The resilient and banged up John Wall was the catalyst for the Wizards with 18 points, 13 assists, and seven rebounds. Bradley Beal led the team in scoring with 28 points as well as the truth chipping in with 19 of his own.
The Truth picked up where he left off from the Toronto series scoring the first seven points of the game to get the team started. The Hawks were quick to counter with a 9-0 run to take a 16-9. Impressively, all of their first seven baskets were assisted on as the ball was zipping from side to side.
The Wizards’ bench also came in and picked up where they left off. Both Otto Porter and Drew Gooden provided sparks off the bench right away combining for 12 points in the first quarter. Unfortunately, the Hawks were on fire in the first, connecting on 61% of their shots and 5-8 from three-point range to lead by 11, 37-26 after the first quarter.
Sessions started off the quarter with a nice jump shot to get going. Once again, Sessions came in off the bench and continued to put pressure on the defense and get them back peddling.
The Wizards went to their smaller lineup earlier than usual when Randy Wittman opted to go with Sessions, Beal, Porter, Pierce, and Nene at the eight-minute mark. Nene was pretty ineffective for this game and didn’t see much action in the second half. We’ll see what happens to his minutes as the series goes on.
Gortat was held scoreless for most of the first half until he hit a layup at the 4:10 mark which really ignited him. Very scary moment for the Wizards late in the second quarter as John Wall went up for a layup, braced his fall with his left wrist and lay on the floor for some time. The Wallstar ended up being OK but it was not a pleasant site for us Wizards faithful to see.
The Wizards held serve during the second quarter and entered halftime down 10, 63-53.
The second half was a different ballgame for both squads. Kyle Korver, who was held in check for most of the game, hit a long two to get the half started for the Hawks. John Wall and Bradley Beal scored four straight buckets as the Wizards opened the half on an 8-2 run to cut the lead to four.
The resilient Hawks countered with a run of their own and were able to stretch the lead out to 72-61 midway through the quarter. The truth answered the bell and hit a much-needed jumper out of a timeout to stop the bleeding. The threes started falling as Bradley Beal and Drew Gooden connected from long range to cut the Hawks lead to 1, 75-74.
Kyle Korver hit a three for the Hawks and they would lead 83-81 entering the fourth.
Marcin Gortat would tie the game for the Wizards on a baseline jumper just one minute into the fourth quarter. Bradley Beal followed that up with a long two and the Wizards took their first lead of the game since early in the first 85-83 at the 10:05 mark.
The Hawks shooting went ice cold to the tune of 5-28 from the field in the fourth quarter. The Hawks began settling for threes to make matters worse. Korver, Millsap, and Carroll who were connecting earlier in the game were bricking shots left and right.
Very scary moment for the Wizards as Bradley Beal went up for an elbow jump shot and came down on the ankle of Al Horford, rolling it pretty badly. Beal was taken to the locker room and tried to return but just couldn’t take the pain.
Continuing with the cold shooting, the Hawks didn’t score their first points of the quarter until the 7:31 mark on two free throws from Al Horford. The Hawks had one last desperation push in them and were able to narrow the lead down to three on a three pointer from Kyle Korver.
The cold blooded Otto porter would knock down a corner three pointer for the Wiz and John Wall would find Marcin Gortat for the alley oop layin at the 14 second mark for the proverbial “DAGGER.”
Wiz get bruised up but escape with the victory, 104-98.