In #SoWizards fashion, the Wizards blow a 10 point lead; fight back to take a one point lead with eight seconds remaining but fall to the Hawks on an Al Horford put back lay in. The Hawks win 82-81 and take a 3-2 series lead heading back to Washington.
John Wall was back in the starting lineup, broken wrist and all sporting a glove but playing through the pain. The Wizards fed off the energy from John with a quick 4-0 lead. John scored his first bucket on an acrobatic layup landing awkwardly on that broken left wrist. Everyone in DC breathed a sigh of relief when he got back up.
It was a very oddly played first quarter. Both teams were pretty sloppy with the ball and neither team looked really urgent either to take command of the game.
However, the Hawks did shoot the ball well knocking down 58% of their field goals in the first quarter to go along with five blocks on the defensive end as they ended the quarter up 23-19.
Nene struggled mightily tonight. After getting swatted by Al Horford twice in the first quarter, Nene opted not to dunk a put back early in the period and got stripped by Horford this time. This was kind of how things were for the Wizards as they started the second quarter 1-6 from the field and were getting lit up by Mike Muscala on the other end who scored the first eight points of the quarter for the Hawks.
Otto Porter came in for the Wizards and continued to slash and dash to the hole scoring nine points tonight. The Wizards would close out the quarter strong on a 19-6 run and led by six at halftime 47-41; even though they only shot 39% for the half.
The third quarter was just as sloppy as both teams turned the ball over on their first two possessions to start the quarter. The Hawks went a porous 0-4 to start the quarter with four turnovers on their first four possessions.
Things got a little chippy as Nene and Paul Milsap got tangled up under the hoop going for a rebound. Just seconds later, Paul Pierce and DeMarre Carroll had some words for each other at mid court. Both players ended up getting T’d up but things never escalated.
Back to the game…. The Hawks were able to cut into the Wizards lead going on a 7-0 run of their own. Jeff Teague and Al Horford ran the pick-n-pop all night tonight and why not? It worked. The Wizards only managed to score 15 points in the third quarter and found themselves down just 1, 63-62 going into the fourth.
Bradley Beal opened up the quarter with a baseline jumper to start the quarter as the Wizards regained the lead early in the period. The Wizards would stretch that lead out to five as the Hawks started the quarter 0-7 from the field.
The Hawks scored their first bucket of the quarter at the 6:30 mark and things took a huge 180. With the Wizards up nine points with just six minutes to play, they endured a painful four minute scoring drought.
Paul Pierce would hit a huge three pointer to break the drought with two minutes to play as the Wizards pulled within two points; there was a glimmer of hope. John Wall turned Dennis Schroder over and found Marcin Gortat in the lane for a hook shot to tie the game at 78.
Kind of reminiscent of regular season Paul Pierce, the Truth handled the ball with 30 seconds to play and as he was making his move, tripped and fell over which led to a 2 on 1 break for the Hawks resulting in a easy layup. The Truth backed that up by knocking down a corner three with 14 seconds left as the Wizards retook the lead 81-80 with 8 seconds to play.
On the next Hawks out of bounds play, Dennis Schroder drove to the hole once again but it was blocked by Wall. Al Horford jumped right over Nene to grab the ball and lay it back in. Game, set, match. In #DCsports fashion, the Capitals lost in overtime shortly thereafter. Not a great night to be a sports fan in our nation’s capital.