Wall scores playoff-best 32 as Wizards beat Hawks in Game 1


Boston's second unit started the second quarter 1 for 7 from the field and was outscored 10-0 to surrender the Celtics' first-quarter lead. When they crowded him, he found Bradley Beal for daggers.

The opening game in the first-round playoff series between the Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks included moments when Paul Millsap and Markieff Morris, and then John Wall and Dennis Schroder, talked some smack and exchanged words. Brooks believes the inexperienced Wizards can have a positive impact throughout the postseason even without the benefit of having been there before: "If you play hard, that's all you have to do". Morris finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, and two assists on 8-for-19 shooting and 2-for-6 from outside.

But it was a jumper by Wall off of Gortat's screen and a dunk off a turnover by Atlanta for a 103-98 lead with 65 seconds left.

The Wizards used a 16-4 run late in the fourth quarter for a come-from-behind playoff victory over the Hawks. Center Dwight Howard, who will be playing in his 90th career playoff game on Tuesday, recorded a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds in the win and enters the postseason averaging a double-double at 13.5 points and 12.7 boards.

John Wall: This team rises and falls with Wall. He finished the game with 32 points and 14 assists, proving he was the best player on the court. Jose Calderon (two points) is a much better matchup for Jennings, who can better stay in front of him and isn't at a significant strength disadvantage.

However, the Hawks wouldn't go away. It was a rough showing from Tim Hardaway Jr.

-Beal had his share of open shots and mismatches but was indecisive.

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Saddled with three fouls, Millsap headed to the bench at the 2:54 remaining in the first half. Bradley Beal added 31 points. Gortat had to make him pay and did. Few players are more risky with a head of steam in pick-and-roll situations, and the Hawks might have made a mistake by dropping back and giving him room to see the floor.

Even though the Hawks will be making their 10th straight postseason appearance, the team has generated little buzz around the National Basketball Association or even in its own city, where home games continue to be marked by thousands of empty seats and most sports fans seem more focused on the start of baseball season, the NFL draft and a promising new soccer team, Atlanta United.

-The shooting was bad. Stephen Curry knocked down a timely baseline 3-pointer, reached his hand high and gestured to further ignite a raucous sellout crowd.

There was plenty of complaining by the Wizards throughout, and when sixth man Kelly Oubre Jr. got No. 4 and joined Morris and Porter on the sideline, the team was whistled for a delay-of-game foul, its second, resulting in a technical. He mustered four points off the Washington bench. Muscala had three for Atlanta. "They shot 39 free throws".

Taurean Prince had 14 points in his playoff debut for the Hawks. Shortly thereafter, Morris joined the Wizards' sideline after he was called for his third foul. Howard picked up his fourth at 7:30, Smith's came at 3:38 and Bazemore got his at 1:37. The Hawks won six of their last nine games.

ABOUT THE WIZARDS (49-33): Washington brushed off the slow finish to its season and is looking for a little revenge after losing to the Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals two years ago.