The Washington Wizards are back in the playoffs and victorious with a 114-107 win over the Atlanta Hawks. The return of John Wall in the NBA Playoffs included 32-points (12-for-24 shooting) and 14 assists. His 14-point scoring outburst in the third quarter shifted momentum of game one to the Wizards. It was all the starting five leading the Wizards as each starter scored in double-digits behind their leader in Wall.
Marcin Gortat got the better of the match-up between Dwight Howard, his former teammate in Orlando, with 14-points and 10-rebounds. Howard would eventually finish with seven points and 14-rebounds in the loss while only connecting on two of the six shots he managed to take. The bright spots for Atlanta was Dennis Schroder who scored 25-points on 8-of-16 shooting alongside nine assists. All-Star Forward Paul Millsap added 19-points on 5-of-8 shooting.
After the game Millsap had concerns about the way the game was officiated and the style of play allowed from the Wizards. “The difference in the game was we were playing basketball and they were playing MMA,” Millsap told reporters. “They were physical. When the game is like that, we have to match their physicality. But again, we’ve got to go get some moves and bring them back to the court.
The Hawks never had an answer to contain the John Wall outbursts and get a handle of the ball as they had a game high 21 turnovers. Taking advantage of the turnovers the Wizards were able to capitilize on 16 points off turnovers and pour in 25 fast break points. After the third quarter Atlanta could never recover from the double-digit deficit.
Some of the aggression that Washington showed alongside their All-Star Guard John Wall is the result of the 114-107 win in game 1. Atlanta will have to come out and match the intensity in game two or they will find themselves in a similar situation.
Game two is Wednesday night in Washington D.C. Tip-off at 7:00 PM EST on TNT.
Baseline Times Staff Writer