The Wizards defeated the Hawks 113-94 on Saturday night and improved their record to 7-5 for the season. Bradley Beal led the Wizards’ scorers with 19 points while Markieff Morris and Kelly Oubre added 18 each.
Washington broke this game open after the bench unit went on a 12-0 run to start the fourth quarter. In a season where the Wizards’ bench has perpetually underachieved, they more than came through as they forced Atlanta to commit three consecutive turnovers and extend a nine point lead to 25 at one point.
Oubre, Mike Scott, and Jodie Meeks scored eight points each in the last quarter on a combined 9 of 15 shooting. Oubre has certainly taken a step up with his game this season, but I was particularly pleased by Scott’s and Meeks’ performances tonight when their job was to close the game out.
Before that point, the Wizards were leading most of the time, but Atlanta managed to lead by as many as 7 points in the second quarter thanks to their three point game. The Wizards were also having trouble getting easier buckets and only had six assists in the first half though they closed the second quarter out with a 19-5 run.
Fortunately, Washington’s talent and defensive persistence hit another level in the third quarter and the bench laid the final coffin in the fourth.
John Wall starts the offense with defense - Wall gave Dennis Schroder problems tonight, where the Hawks point guard only shot 2 of 16 and 7 points for the night. In addition, Wall made a momentum-changing block that led to a Markieff Morris three. It ultimately helped give Washington the momentum to win this game despite a not-so-energetic first half.
Markieff Morris continues getting into form - Though the Wizards were turnover prone in the first half, Morris scored 13 of his 18 points during that time. Overall, he made 8 of his 10 shots from the field and two threes, including the highlight above. It’s just his fourth game back from action, but he’s back in his stride, which is a very good thing.
The Wizards will host the Kings on Monday at Capital One Arena at 7 p.m. ET.