A beautiful Tuesday evening welcomed Game 2 of the Wizards/Hawks series, and Atlanta was looking to recoup the momentum lost from Sunday. With their last minute Game 1 loss, the Hawks not only lost some of their edge, but the 60-win team was starting to look more like a .500 team.
The Hawks came out the gates with their usual 1st Quarter flair and energy. They were up by as many as 10 points in the 1st Quarter, lead by the regular heroics of Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll.
Al Horford and Jeff Teague were distributors in the 1st Half tallying 5 assists a piece. Teague also had 7 points and 6 rebounds.
Ramon Sessions and Bradley Beal were leading the Wizards with 17 points, and while Paul Pierce wasn’t contributing much, he saw enough wide-open looks to keep the Hawks guessing.
The Hawks couldn’t hold off the Wizards completely. Washington would slowly creep back after any lead increase, relying heavily on Beal, Sessions, and Marcin Gortat.
After an energetic 1st Quarter and a lazy 2nd, the Hawks needed to make a turn around and quickly. Letting the Wizards get comfortable would lead to another away-win for them, putting the Hawks in a terrible predicament. As the 3rd Quarter was tough for the home squad, the 4th was more kind to the Hawks, showing a mostly dominant effort against the Wizards. With Gortat fouling out, the Wizards relied heavily on Nene in the low post.
The Hawks were leading 102-89 with a little over a minute left in the game. In all honesty, they should’ve had a lead like this the entire game but silly turnovers and bad passing continuously helped the Wizards get back in the game. The worst part about all of this is the Hawks are at home and the Wizards are without John Wall. This year’s playoffs are showing teams step up while their stars are hurt (i.e. Clippers winning away without Chris Paul).
It took far too long for Kyle Korver to get going. It wasn’t until the 4th Quarter that he started getting a rhythm and knocking down his outside shots. The Hawks shot 10-29 from the 3-pt line, which is way below average for them. The Wizards went 12-22 in 3FGA.
Once the Hawks had possession, Teague ran the clock down every chance he had as the Hawks were able to hang on and edge the Wizards. Free throws played a major part in their consistency, shooting 88% from the stripe (22-25) while Washington shot a meager 57% (8-14).
Tonight’s victory is just what the Hawks needed before they try and steal an away-win in D.C. DeMarre Carroll had a team-high 22 points, while Al Horford and Paul Millsap ended up with 18 points.
The Hawks came away with a 16-point victory over the Wizards in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, 106-90. Thankfully the Hawks will have until Saturday to rest and get a game plan together. We’re hoping they can steal a win in D.C. and close out the series at home.