It wasn't easy over the past week, but the Wizards have finally clawed their way back to a .500 record after beating the Atlanta Hawks on the road, 117-102. Bradley Beal and John Wall combined for 52 points and all of the Wizards starters have scored in double-figures in each game during the five-game winning streak.The Wizards remain a game and a half behind the Detroit Pistons for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. "We know our backs are against the wall with what we're trying to accomplish," Wall said. "We've just got to keep grinding and competing."
Washington used their newly acquired playoff mentality and some of Kieff Morris aggression to start off hot on a 7-0 run in Philips Arena against Paul Millsap and the Atlanta Hawks in both the first half and the second. The Wizards' biggest lead of 16 points came in the fourth quarter after a step-back three from John Wall, who paced the game with his 27 points and 14 assists.
The Wiz Squad looked to have had control of the game early as they went into halftime leading by two and battled Jeff Teague, who scored 23 points and the Hawks bench throughout the night before leading by 15 with 30 seconds left until the final buzzer.
This game had the vibe of a playoff atmosphere and at times some very questionable foul calls. The Wizards defense was the x-factor tonight as they held the Atlanta Hawks to just 16 points in the fourth quarter.
John Wall and the Wizards will meet Jeff Teague and the Hawks again on Wednesday night in Washington D.C., where the Hawks have lost four of the last five meetings. The Wizards are 9-1 in their last ten home games. This is probably the best stretch we've ever played, to be honest," Wall said, this marks the first time all season the Wizards have five games in a row.
Wizards win the battle inside
Coming into tonight's game, the matchup between Markieff Morris and Paul Millsap would be the headliner, but both were in foul trouble throughout, Morris picked up two quick fouls in the first and Millsap to the delight of Wizards fans everywhere, was accessed his fourth foul early in the third. Morris finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals and Millsap had 13 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 steal. The Morris trade looks better and better with each Wizards win. The Wizards outrebounded the Hawks 44-33, and Marcin Gortat and Nene combined for 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Three point shooting was on point
The Wizards three ball was falling at a rapid rate of 52%. Obviously, a healthy Bradley Beal is what Wizards fans have been waiting for, as Beal went 5 of 6 from beyond the arch in Atlanta. The Hawks elusive three-pointer shooter Kyle Korver hit just one three-pointer on the night and the Hawks were a combined 13 of 33 from three for 39%.
- Morris is inspiring everyone on the team to jump more, you know play with more athleticism. Otto Porter had a great put-back dunk to tie the game at 46. Even Gortat can be seen jumping for the offensive rebound aka second chance points after a Wall missed three.
- Porter's confidence in his shot is still 50/50 as he went 3 for 10 in the first half for 9 lowly points. This is where Wittman could sub for Kelly Oubre Jr. No one likes to see a rookie take their spot. On the other hand, it's a tough sell. When he does the little things so well. Porter had a critical block on an inbound pass from Teague, which led to a Wall drive before the halftime buzzer. Porter finished the game with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block, and shot 2 of 5 from three. In the month of March, Otto Porter is only shooting 45% from three. In the game against the New York Knicks, Porter missed all five of his field-goals attempts in the first quarter, was 0 of 3 from three and at halftime only had 4 points. Against the Atlanta Hawks, Otto was 1 of 6 in the first period and 1 of 2 from three.
- No Alan Anderson. This could be a cause for concern during the final weeks of the regular season. Alan Anderson is a huge part of the leadership nucleus for this team on both offense and defense and with him still missing games here and as the Wizards push for the playoffs is a bad sign. Alan Anderson has only played in nine games this season and continues to plagued by discomfort in his left ankle.