John Wall led the way with the best playoff performance of his career, scoring 42 points on 25 shots. He also added 8 assists, 4 steals, and a pair of blocks to help Washington pick up their first road win of the playoffs.
Wall was on point throughout the game, but took things to a different level in the fourth quarter. It looked like Washington might give away the big lead they had developed through the first half. With eight minutes left in the game, Atlanta had trimmed a 22 point lead down to 3, and it looked like they were going to make it a one point game after Dennis Schroder stole an errant pass from Bradley Beal. But just when it looked safe, the Wizards’ Human Eraser came in to block the shot and change the momentum of the game.
Wall went on to score 17 of the team’s final 22 points as the Wizards outscored Atlanta 22-9 over the eight minutes and five seconds to finish off the series.
How will the league handle the scuffle?
Bradley Beal and Kent Bazemore got into a little scuffle late in the first quarter, which led to four players getting technical fouls (two on each team).
However the real action happened on the bench, where three different players got up off the bench to check on the situation:
It looks like Gortat, Ochefu and Morris left the bench for the Wizards. Interesting how the NBA interprets this incident.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) April 29, 2017
Argument for the Washington players is that they were tending to a teammate that fell under the basket and not towards Bazemore.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) April 29, 2017
Here is the abbreviated language for leaving the bench:— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) April 29, 2017
1g suspension for leaving the bench area in "connection" with an altercation.
If the NBA does decided to suspend Gortat, Morris, and Ochefu, the Wizards’ frontcourt depth would just be absolutely ravaged for Game 1. The only big men they’d have are Jason Smith, Ian Mahinmi (if he’s healthy), and ... Chris McCullough. Let’s hope the league is sensible.
Posting and toasting
Remember when Wall’s post-up game seemed like a cheap gimmick? Now it’s become one of the most outstanding parts of his game, and what makes him so dangerous, even when the game slows down.