Wizards Show Improvement, But Fall To Hawks 99-95

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Al Thornton benefitted from several of those Wall assists and was instrumental in helping the Wizards set a competitive tone and build an early lead. Thornton finished with 24 points and it was his slam dunk in transition off a Wall pass that gave the Wizards a 25-16 lead with 1:08 to go in the first quarter. "I think he is the best shape he has been in a couple of years," Saunders noted. "He has made a real commitment to himself. We always say never let your conditioning get in the way of your talent. He is giving himself a chance to succeed."

That's some pretty high praise coming from Flip Saunders. With more performances like the one he had last night, he'll make it tough for Josh Howard to work his way back into the starting lineup.

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