The Wizards really missed John Wall tonight. The duo of Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder combined for 40 points and 16 assists as they sliced through the Washington defense and led the Hawks to a 106-101 victory, evening the series at two games apiece.
Jeff Teague led the way for the Hawks in a must win game scoring 26 points. Al Horford also had a huge game with 18 points and 10 rebounds; many of which came on the pick-n-pop variety as he was a tough matchup for both Nene and Paul Pierce.
The Wizards started out smoking hot from three point range, mainly Paul Pierce who hit his first five three pointers of the game. Bradley Beal, Ramon Sessions; everyone was getting in on the three point party to begin as the Wizards went 6-9 from long range to start.
Even with the hot long range shooting, the Hawks shot an equally impressive 61% from the field in the first quarter and led 29-26 after one period.
Dennis Schroder picked his game up in the second quarter similarly to his fourth quarter performance in Game 3. Schroder was able to slice and dice to get to the hole at ease. Both Garrett Temple and Will Bynum were unable to stay in front of Schroder as he scored seven points early in the second quarter.
The Wizards were much looser with the ball tonight committing 16 turnovers and their seventh just minutes into the second quarter. Even so, hot shooting from Bradley Beal kept them afloat.
Whenever the Wizards would creep back into the game, the Hawks had an answer. Jeff Teague was on a mission tonight to prove that his game three performance was just a one time ordeal. Teague got to the hole at ease and even knocked down some three pointers to stretch the Hawks lead out to 10, late in the second quarter.
The Hawks shot a very impressive 59% from the field in the first half and led 65-55 at halftime.
The Wizards started the third quarter with a sense of urgency. A 7-0 run to start the quarter including a three pointer from Bradley Beal had the Wizards within 3, 65-62 just a couple of minutes in. That three pointer was the Wizards 10th of the game, the sixth time this postseason they’ve knocked down 10+ three pointers. Keep in mind, they only did that seven times during the regular season.
The Wizards were able to pull within one point on a Paul pierce layup but just like before, Jeff Teague answered with a layup of his own on the other end. Teague and Horford took advantage of the poor Wizards defense late in the third quarter as Horford effortlessly knocked down jumpers on pick-n-pops with Teague. The hawks were able to balloon the lead out to 10 and led 85-75 heading into the fourth.
Bradley Beal came to play tonight and left it all on the line. Beal scored a game high 34 points and 11 in the fourth quarter putting him in some very nice company.
Beal fearlessly attacked the rim and was able to get to the line as well.
Once again, Jeff Teague had a response hitting a floater in the lane to counter.
Even with the Wizards down double figures, the team continued to battle. Will Bynum provided a nice spark off the bench including two timely layups late in the fourth quarter. The Wizards were able to chip away at the lead and got it down to three with just six seconds left. Randy Wittman called a timeout and drew up a beautiful out of bounds play getting Paul Pierce wide open for a three pointer… It rimmed out and Pierce would not be the hero tonight.
Paul Milsap would knock down two free throws to put this game away and that was all she wrote. Wizards lose 106-101. Game 5 is Wednesday night in Atlanta. See you then.