Beal, Wizards ham­mer hap­less Hawks

Wall out, but Beal, Porter light it up in beat­ing At­lanta

The Star Democrat - - SPORTS -

AT­LANTA (AP) — Bradley Beal scored a sea­son-high 36 points, Otto Porter Jr. had 20 points and 11 re­bounds, and the Wash­ing­ton Wizards won their third straight game with a 131-117 vic­tory over the At­lanta Hawks on Wed­nes­day night.

Wizards star guard John Wall missed the game for per­sonal rea­sons, but Wash­ing­ton still fin­ished with a sea­son-high 35 as­sists.

Beal, with nine as­sists and nine re­bounds, was a matchup night­mare for the Hawks, who be­gan the night with the NBA’s third-worst record and lost their fourth straight. John Collins fin­ished with 14 re­bounds and a ca­reer-high 26 points, and Kent Bazemore added 22 points for At­lanta.

Rookie guard Kevin Huerter was the first Hawks player as­signed to guard Beal, and he was re­placed early. At­lanta coach Lloyd Pierce tried sev­eral com­bi­na­tions but noth­ing worked for long.

Beal drew Collins, a 6-foot10 for­ward, out to guard him in the third quar­ter and quickly cut past him. Rookie point guard Trae Young closed in the lane too late as Beal drove for a layup and a 19-point lead.

Beal took the ball to the rim of­ten enough to get to the foul line and hit 10 of 13 free throws. The Wizards fin­ished 27 for 32 at the line.

The Hawks used a 45-point third, their high­est-scor­ing quar­ter of the sea­son, to pull within seven in the first minute of the fourth on Bazemore’s jumper.

Young had a chance to make it a three-point game but missed a wild layup at­tempt at the 9:48 mark, and To­mas Sa­torsky fol­lowed with a 3-pointer to push the lead to eight.

Young, the fifth over­all pick in this year’s draft, took a hard spill 30 sec­onds later as he tried to shoot a 3 at the top of the arc, fall­ing into Austin Rivers on the way down and get­ting his feet knocked out. Young landed on his back and stayed down be­fore get­ting up to make two of three free throws.

Beal an­swered with a run­ner and hit a pair of free throws on the en­su­ing pos­ses­sion to push the lead back to dou­ble dig­its.

Rivers started in Wall’s spot and had nine points, seven as­sists and seven re­bounds.

TIP-INS Wizards:

It was the first game Wall has missed this sea­son. Knee prob­lems side­lined him for 41 games last sea­son. Wash­ing­ton coach Scott Brooks didn’t have an im­me­di­ate timetable for Wall’s re­turn . ... F Jeff Green was side­lined with back is­sues for the sec­ond time in the last three games . ... Beal has scored at least 20 points 18 times this sea­son . ... Rivers opened on the floor for the first time since start­ing 59 of his 61 games with the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers last sea­son . ... Wall didn’t play in a win last Jan­uary in At­lanta, and the Wizards still posted 40 as­sists. Re­serve guard Tim Fra­zier dished out 14 in that game.

Hawks:

Re­serve G Jeremy Lin left with a lower back strain and didn’t re­turn af­ter play­ing four min­utes . ... Collins got his fourth dou­ble­dou­ble at the five-minute mark of the third . ... Bazemore started in place of F Tau­rean Prince, who in­jured his left an­kle in Mon­day’s loss to Golden State and will miss three weeks . ... At­lanta closed the third on an 11-0 run.

UP NEXT Wizards:

Satur­day.

Hawks:

Satur­day.

At Cleve­land on Host Den­ver on

AP PHOTO

Wizards guard Bradley Beal passes as Hawks for­ward DeAn­dre’ Bem­bry de­fends dur­ing the sec­ond half of Wed­nes­day’s game.

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