Hawks fall to Wizards’ rally in Game 2

Bradley Beal and John Wall lead Wash­ing­ton to a vic­tory as At­lanta falls to 0-2 in the se­ries.

Rome News-Tribune - - SPORTS - By Howard Fendrich As­so­ci­ated Press Sports Writer

WASH­ING­TON — In a rough-and-tum­ble, foul­filled game, Bradley Beal took over in the fourth quar­ter with 16 of his 31 points, in­clud­ing a key late 3-pointer, help­ing the Wash­ing­ton Wizards beat the At­lanta Hawks 109-101 on Wed­nes­day night for a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Con­fer­ence first-round se­ries.

John Wall earned chants of “M-V-P!” while fin­ish­ing with 32 points and nine as­sists, in­clud­ing the dish to Beal for his shot from be­yond the arc with 38 sec­onds re­main­ing that sealed the win for the hosts.

Wash­ing­ton, which trailed 78-74 en­ter­ing

the fi­nal pe­riod, won de­spite only a com­bined seven points from start­ing for­wards Marki­eff Mor­ris and Otto Porter Jr., who were both in foul trou­ble early.

The se­ries now shifts to At­lanta for Game 3 on Satur­day.

Paul Mill­sap led the Hawks with 27 points and 10 re­bounds, and Den­nis Schroder scored 23 points. But Dwight Howard had only seven re­bounds, half his Game 1 to­tal, and six points.

Mill­sap scored 14 points in the third quar­ter, in­clud­ing six dur­ing a 13-0 run by the Hawks that took them from a deficit to a 7467 edge with a lit­tle more than 3½ min­utes left in that pe­riod.

But Beal and Wall were too much in the fourth, with some help from backup point guard Bran­don Jen­nings, who ac­counted for eight con­sec­u­tive Wizards points dur­ing one stretch — mak­ing three bas­kets and as­sist­ing on an­other.

Af­ter Wash­ing­ton won the se­ries opener over the week­end, Mill­sap be­moaned aloud about how things went, say­ing: “The dif­fer­ence in the game is we were play­ing bas­ket­ball and they were play­ing MMA.”

That be­came a talk­ing point dur­ing the off days, and per­haps af­fected the way Game 2 was called. It was hardly akin to a mixed mar­tial arts bout, but the of­fi­cials sure seemed de­ter­mined to use their whis­tles upon see­ing any­thing re­sem­bling a foul.

What­ever de­bate might be had about how jus­ti­fied all the calls were, one thing was clear: All of those in­ter­rup­tions dis­rupted the flow of the game.

Wash­ing­ton led 51-43 at half­time. More note­wor­thy: There were 29 per­sonal fouls in the open­ing 24 min­utes, 55 for the game.

There was plenty of com­plain­ing by the Wizards through­out, and when sixth man Kelly Oubre Jr. got No. 4 and joined Mor­ris and Porter on the side­line, the team was whis­tled for a de­lay-of-game foul, its sec­ond, re­sult­ing in a tech­ni­cal.

About 30 sec­onds later, Howard picked up his fourth foul, while Kent Bazemore was at four en­ter­ing the last quar­ter, too.

When an­other cou­ple of calls went against Wash­ing­ton in the third quar­ter, many voices in the sell­out crowd of 20,356 rose in uni­son for full-throated chants of de­ri­sion di­rected at the of­fi­cials.

Tip-ins

Hawks: Shot 0 for 8 on 3-point at­tempts in the first half, and fin­ished 4 for 20 . ... 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 . ...

At­lanta is in the play­offs for the 10th con­sec­u­tive year, the long­est cur­rent streak in the East.

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.

Up next

Game 3 tips off Satur­day in At­lanta at 5:30 p.m.

Nick Wass / The As­so­ci­ated Press

Wash­ing­ton’s Ja­son Smith (right) and At­lanta’s Dwight Howard reach for the ball dur­ing the first half of Wed­nes­day’s game in Wash­ing­ton.

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