DeMarre Caroll was the game’s high scorer with 22 points as he led the Hawks to a 106-90 victory, evening the series with the Wizards at one game apiece. Paul Milsap and Al Horford both chipped with 18 points each as the Hawks were just too much for the Wizards tonight.
John Wall was a late scratch for the Wizards so Ramon Sessions started in his place. Surprisingly Sessions scored a team high and playoff career high 21 points for the Wizards in Wall’s absence.
The Wizards came out of the gate slow connecting on just 3-11 shots to start. You could feel it from the get-go that Atlanta really wanted this game. Crisp ball movement, finding open shooters, team defense; it was very reminiscent of the Hawks during the regular season.
Even with the poor play by the Wizards and much more focused play from the Hawks, the Hawks just led by eight after the first but it didn’t feel like the Wizards were out of this one.
Bradley Beal started the second quarter as the primary ball handler and was asked to create his own shot and for others. Beal ended the night with 20 points and seven assists.
Unlike Game 1, the Wizards were a little careless with the ball tonight committing 16 turnovers resulting in 11 fast break points for the Hawks.
Even though the short-handed Wizards were loose with the ball, the Hawks were unable to pull away. The Wizards stayed within striking distance thanks to The Truth who knocked down some timely three pointers in the second quarter. The Wizards were able to cut the lead to three at the two-minute mark on a layup from Ramon Sessions. Kent Bazemore would answer with a three as the Hawks led 53-46 at halftime.
Sessions knocked down threes on back to back possessions and all of a sudden the Wizards were down just one point early in the third. Kyle Korver counter-punched with a three of his own. Ramon Sessions started the quarter on a personal 10 point run for the Wizards and collectively, the team started 7-11 from the field.
Once again, the bench came in and proved to be a valuable asset. Otto Porter contributed 15 points, eight rebounds, and five assists off the bench including a timely three pointer in the third quarter to tie the game at the 2:20 mark.
The Wizards found themselves down five, 80-75 to start the fourth quarter and that was all you could ask for; be within striking distance to start the fourth.
Unfortunately, the Wizards went ice cold in the fourth starting the quarter 0-4 resulting in a 11-2 run for the Hawks. Al Horford took over down the stretch knocking in some key jump shoots over a foul-troubled Gortat and ineffective Nene (more on this later).
Just as the Wizards were pushing to make a comeback, Kyle Korver drained a three to keep the lead at 10. The Wizards shot a horrific 4-16 in the fourth and only managed to score just 15 points in the period as the Hawks would even the series 1-1. Game 3 is Saturday night in Washington.
Notes: Nene had his worst game of the season tonight. The big man had just two points and four rebounds in 27 minutes of play. He looked overmatched and tired. He committed turnovers at key times in the game and was a liability. It would not be surprising to see his minutes take a hit as the series goes on.