Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
John Wall scored 14 points in 21 minutes in a dazzling return performance as the Wizards topped the Hawks, 93-83.
WASHINGTON -- Well that went well. John Wall was electrifying in his first professional basketball game since April. The third year guard took over down the stretch and powered the Washington Wizards to their second victory in a row, a 93 - 83 win over the Atlanta Hawks. We'll be back with more soon, but for now, here are some game notes.
- Washington looked to run its offense through Nene early on with good results. The first few minutes were a battle between Smith's and Teague's ball skills and Washington's overwhelming size advantage at four positions. Teague made some shots, but Washington looked like the better team early on. 15 - 11 Washington, 6:00 in the first quarter.
- John Wall checked in late in the first quarter to a large ovation. He missed his first shot, a long jumper from the top of the key.
- Beal had two steals in a row and looked bad in transition both times. He missed a breakaway layup after the first one, got his own rebound and followed with a dunk. On the second one he threw a bad crosscourt bounce pass that Okafor couldn't handle and the ball went out of bound.
- Seraphin is looking bad early on while trying to score on Pachulia. He looks mechanical in the post and isn't handling Pachulia's physicality well.
- Wall is looking quick and aggressive early on as he draws two fouls in the first quarter.
- Gorgeous dish by Wall to Beal for a fast break dunk as the first quarter came to a close. Hopefully that's something we'll see a lot of for the next ten years.
- Washington is up 27 - 17 after one. Beal has eight points, Nene's looking beastly and Wall is doing well. Seraphin and Vesely both struggled. Jan in particular looked bad, coming out quickly after committing two fouls.
- Washington's plays out of timeouts are good tonight. Lots of off-ball movement and Wall hits Beal for an open jumper to kick off the second quarter.
- It's 31 - 29 Washington, 7:54 in the second quarter. Atlanta's mounted a comeback as Washington's transition defense has floundered while Price and Ariza went cold from outside. Washington is doing a poor job of keeping a hand in sniper Jenkins' face.
- It is so cool that Ivan Johnson and DeShawn Stevenson, two of the greatest beards in recent NBA history, are on the same team. Atlanta really needs to acquire Reggie Evans, Martell Webster and Chris Singleton to pair with them.
- Seraphin is having a very Seraphin-y game. He's looking mediocre on defense, not really rebounding and is missing shot after shot without even attempting to draw contact.
- Devin Harris started going off and Atlanta jumped out to a 36 - 33 lead with 5:41 left in the second. Washington's having trouble staying in front of the Hawk ball handlers.
- Atlanta went on a Williams, Harris and Teague-fueled run. Washington eventually got it back to 50 - 48 Atlanta with 1:00 left in the second quarter on the strength of a few Price jumpers and good player from Nene.
- 51 - 50 Wizards at halftime. Webster has 12 points, Beal 10, and Nene and Wall have both looked good in limited minutes.
- The second half started out nice for Washington. Nene looked good and led the team to a 62 - 56 lead when he eventually checked out with about 6:00 left in the third quarter. Wall came in when Nene came out, something we'll hopefully see a bit more of while they're playing limited minutes. The offense completely falls apart when neither of them are on the floor, even when Crawford is playing.
- A great pass from Wall to Beal for the corner three makes it 68 - 57. It's good to see those two finally start to build some chemistry.
- Seraphin has no clue how to deal with ball pressure, especially traps.
- Nasty crossover and and-one for Wall to close the third quarter. Harris, who had the same physical tools as Wall early on in his career, just could not stay with him. He nails the free throw to make it 73 - 66.
- Vesely gets the hook early in the fourth after fouling Ivan Johnson on a dunk. So much for building some momentum following the Thunder game.
- Atlanta takes time after a Seraphin hook shot makes it 77 - 68 Washington with 9:47 left in the third. The Wizards have been oddly steady all night. Can they actually pull this off?
- Washington at one point plays a lineup of Price and Temple in the backcourt with Seraphin, Booker and Ariza in the frontcourt. They actually did all right, I just hope we don't see a lot of it.
- Wall, Nene and Beal check in with about 6:20 left in the game. Wall and Beal are playing a lot of minutes together and it's most likely intentional. Washington is up 83 - 75.
- Josh Smith missed two free throws and the fans in attendance were rewarded with free Chick-fil-a sandwiches.
- 89 - 77 Washington with 3:09 left in the game. Wall's layup and Seraphin's hook shot have gave the Wizards a 12 point lead. The fans, still riding a chicken sandwich high, gave the team a standing ovation as Atlanta called time.