The Washington Wizards lost to the Atlanta Hawks, 104-95. Washington fell behind early, but a huge third quarter from Bradley Beal and some hot shooting from Kevin Seraphin eventually brought them back to within two points late in the game. Unfortunately, the team stopped converting on offense down the stretch, while the Hawks made a couple of lucky shots.
Three things decided this game: the Hawks guards' ability to get to the basket at will regardless of who Washington put on them, excellent performances from Seraphin and Beal, and Atlanta's sloppy ball handling in the second half. Unfortunately, the Hawks hit some lucky shots while the Wizards made some bad turnovers, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory to fall to 2-14 on the year.
Here are some game notes.
- Singleton blocks an early Horford dunk attempt. One reason he makes so much sense as a stretch four is that he has the length to protect the rim a bit. He's also been rebounding a bit better now that he's playing closer to the basket.
- One of the nice things about Atlanta's offense is that they can have five guys - Teague, Harris, Stevenson, Smith, and Horford - initiate the offense, as they did for a while in the first quarter. I have a feeling they're one of the league's best teams in secondary break situations.
- Singleton buries a couple of pick and pop long twos. This is a nice development.
- Teague is getting to the basket at will tonight, and he's been the big difference so far. (23-15 in the first quarter).
- 31 - 19 at the end of the first quarter. Washington is getting outplayed in almost every way possible.
- The Wizards are allowing a lot of second chance points when Seraphin is in.
- Livingston has three fouls with 7:13 left in the second quarter, yet another testament to how badly the Hawks' guards are beating Washington off the dribble.
- Crawford is looking aggressive as usual so far. He gets to the basket and makes a turnaround after going under the basket with about 6:40 left in the second.
- Harris with a three to make it 47 - 33 with 3:58 left in the second. The Wizards just can't keep up with the Hawk guards.
- The Wizards cut it to 8 after a Nene jumper. This has been largely a product of the Hawks' poor transition ball handling.
- Beal with two free throws to make it a 6 points lead, 46 - 40, 1:04 left in the second quarter.
- ...and then DeShawn hits back to back threes to make it 51 - 42.
- 54 - 41 Atlanta at half time. Still no Vesely appearances, and Webster is - 17 in 15 minutes with a statline consisting solely of 0s save for 1 turnover.
- An aggressive Beal racks up 7 quick points early on in the third quarter.
- Martin's pair of threes whittle the Hawks' lead to 13, then Beal's layup on a backdoor cut from Nene with 2:18 left in the third quarter cuts it to 75 - 64.
- I can't emphasize this enough: Washington can not handle quick guards right now. Lou Williams and Teague are both eating them alive.
- A Beal three gives him 14 points in the third quarter and cuts the Hawks' lead to 9 to start the fourth.
- Atlanta stops making shots and eventually Seraphin hook shot cuts their lead to 4.
- For a guy not really known for his basketball IQ, Crawford is really crafty with the ball. He doesn't draw a lot of fouls, but he'can still get anywhere he wants on the floor.
- Seraphin with two more makes cut it to a 2 poinit lead with 8:30 left in the fourth.
- Seraphin gets a defensive rebound, then almost destroys Zaza Pachulia with a Bull Hammer. Things are starting to get a little intense. The guy has been in beast mode all night.
- Unfortunately, all those quick shots stop falling for him, though, and Atlanta slowly builds their lead back up to 6 with 2:38 left in the game.
- The Hawks start getting lucky to close the game, as a Josh Smith long two is followed by an and-one as he makes it 102 - 91 Atlanta with 1:02 left.
- A Teague steal and layup caps a 7 - 0 Hawks run to make it 104 - 91 with 1:10 left. Somebody call Dr. Gordon, because it is game over.