Feisty Hawks Stun Somnambulant Wizards 103-97

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 6: DeAndre' Bembry
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 6: DeAndre' Bembry /
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With All-Star point guard John Wall on the bench for the Wizards, the Atlanta Hawks came out with energy and were able to out-execute the home team down the stretch on the way to an improbable victory.

The Wizards seemingly imploded with costly turnovers, poor shot selection and multiple bricks down the stretch. Washington seemed sleepy from the opening tip, and even the game’s leading scorer, Bradley Beal with 33, seemed to take this game for granted due to the Hawks’ losing pedigree this season.

But these Hawks fought hard despite some adversity in the 4th quarter. Atlanta had led by as many as 11 in the first half, but Beal’s scoring prowess was too much handle in the second half as the first-time All-Star scored 20 of his 33 in the final half – pushing the Wizards’ lead to a game-high 6 points with 5:28 remaining.

From that point on, the Hawks ratcheted up the intensity and outscored the Wizards 16 to 4 to close out the game – with Taurean Prince sealing the game late with 2 clutch buckets and a terrific pass to Dewayne Dedmon for the dagger dunk.

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It must be noted that Beal did not get much help on offense, as he accounted for almost a third of the team’s made field goals. The Wiz were only able to muster 40.2 percent shooting from the field and 9 of 25 from deep.

Only 2 players other than Beal scored in double figures, with Kelly Oubre doing it on an extremely inefficient 3 of 13 shooting night – including 0 of 6 from two-point range.

Not only were the Wizards without the talents of John Wall, but Markieff Morris was ejected after only playing 7 minutes after arguing with an official. Ever the hothead, Morris seemed nonplussed by the incident. That was probably a turning point in this game, however, as Morris always seems to be able to back up his smack talk with some solid games against the Hawks – something many other Wizards have been unable to do.

These teams have some feisty history and numerous playoff matchups in recent years, so it was nice for this young Hawks team to defeat Beal and the Wizards while Morris and Wall were forced to watch on as powerless viewers.

Despite the tanking implications – the Hawks creep ever closer to the pack with 23 wins, only 1 away from the Magic and Mavericks – this was an entertaining and enjoyable victory with many stellar individual performances from the Hawks’ players.