Wall and Beal catch fire as Wizards take 2-0 series leadPor Kemen Subia Abr 21, 2017
Wall and Beal are the first pair of Wizards to each score at least 30 points in a playoff game since 2006 (Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas) and the first to do it in a playoff win since 1986 (Jeff Malone and Cliff Robinson).
Wizards: Porter scored his first basket of the game on a 20-foot jumper just 16 seconds into the second half - and less than 1½ minutes later, he picked up his fourth foul and headed to the bench.
Paul Millsap added second best 19 points.
John Wall set a playoff career-high 32 points and controlled the game with his passing, totaling 14 assists.
Fortunately, both players practiced Tuesday and will play Wednesday night's Game 2 against the Hawks.
The Wizards backcourt made the difference all game, but came up with a key stretch late in the fourth quarter to finish things off.
Marcin Gortat had a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, dominating his former teammate Howard in game one and a short time in game two. Howard had six points and seven rebounds. Gortat finished the night 7/10 from the field and was the unsung hero in the game. After saying they wanted to limit Washington's transition game, the Hawks held the Wizards to 16 fast-break points, nine fewer than in Game 1.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks said after the game that they fouled too much. "You can't just single out one guy but he was a big part of it". The Hawks spoke about the Wizards being physical after game one and that they'd have to match their physicality but it was the refs that took notice. That's how he plays: he plays with chip on his shoulder [and] he plays with an edge. His bigger impact was on the defensive end. Each member of the Hawks starting five had a negative plus/minus in Game 1. Washington had just lost the third quarter 35-23 and the team's foul trouble was hurting. After shooting 6 of 18 after three quarters, Beal sank 6 of 9 attempts in the fourth, including two of his four 3-pointers.
"Well, since he's been here", Wall said about Jennings. I know the stat plus/minus is not the greatest statistic in the National Basketball Association, but I think it has value in showing if a player is a very bad defender. "I think Dwight's verticality, Dwight's presence at the rim - you go back and look at the tape in whole, he did a lot of good things".
"I thought Timmy's defense on [Beal] - I think the attention to detail, hopefully not getting screened [and] mixing up what he does on him - I thought Tim's defense was pretty good".
A minute later, both teams were in the penalty.
The third quarter, unequivocally, was better for the Hawks and it began with Washington's trio of Markieff Morris, Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre picking up a fourth foul each within the first four minutes. It was Jason Smith who really stepped up for the frontcourt, playing almost 28 minutes with eight points, eight rebounds, and a few thunderous slams.
They managed to stay in the game thanks to their free-throw shooting, going 33-of-38 at the line. But his words must have had a subliminal impact on the refereeing crew who officiated Game 2, because it was a slugfest full of a ridiculous amount of foul calls. Atlanta needs to win a game on the road to have any shot in this best-of-seven series.
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