The Wizards came into Game 3 of their playoff series against the Hawks with a 2-0 series lead. But Paul Millsap scored 29 points and Dennis Schroder added 27 more to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 116-98 win. The Wizards still lead the series, 2-1.
In short, the Wizards hit a freight train in the first quarter as the Hawks built an early 25 point lead in the first quarter. The Wizards tried to catch up and were able to drop the deficit down to as little as 12 points in the fourth quarter, but the Hawks answered with a run of their own any time Washington tried to muster some momentum. Washington never led in this game.
John Wall scored 29 for Washington and shot 10 of 12 from the field. But the rest of the starters struggled to get any momentum. Bradley Beal in particular shot poorly, going 6 of 20 from the field for 12 points.
So, let’s get to three takeaways from this game.
The first quarter did Washington then
The Hawks outscored the Wizards, 38-20 in the first 12 minutes. Dennis Schroder had a field day where he scored 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting. Atlanta made 5 of 9 threes and shot 65.2 percent from the field overall. Washington shot 30.4 percent from the field overall, and couldn’t score on any of Atlanta’s three turnovers. It was so bad that Atlanta led by 25 points at one point.
Wall was the lone bright spot for Washington as he scored 14 points and had a personal 7-0 run in the last minute of the game. But by then, it was too late.
The trend of slow first quarters has plagued them this entire series. The Wizards trailed the Hawks in each of the first three games so far.
Without Wall, the Wizards could be 0-3 right now
Wall scored 29 or more points in each game of this series, putting the Wizards on his back. Without his efforts on both ends of the floor, it’s quite possible that the Wizards could have lost all three games in this series. Fortunately, the Wizards are leading 2-1 right now, but tonight’s loss shows that this series is far from over for Washington.
Brandon Jennings is heating up
Jennings scored 13 points on 4 of 6 shooting tonight long with 4 assists. Since his arrival to D.C., he’s been more of a pass first point guard and hasn’t had many great shooting nights as a Wizard. But Jennings is turning things around now and we’ll need more performances like tonight in order for the Wizards to close this series out.