Rockets hold off Westbrook; Wizards best Hawks; Warriors blow out Blazers

The Atlanta Hawks are averaging 104 points on 42 percent shooting and allowing 111.5 points on 45.2 percent shooting.

After a timeout, Hardaway Jr. again missed and the dagger came in the form of a Bradley Beal three to 106-98. "Everybody's confident in me". "I've still got some climbing to do".

All night, the Blazers couldn't get anything going offensively, scoring just 17 points in the first quarter and an embarrassing 12 in the third.

The Washington Wizards take a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Atlanta Hawks after a 109-101 home win.

Beal finished with 31 points, 16 on 6-of-9 shooting in the final period.

The Hawks took so many free throws in part because of Washington's defensive approach.

John Wall: This team rises and falls with Wall. "We don't care if he shoots the ball 30 times".

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. "I was going to give him a 10", Brooks said. Gortat, Markieff Morris and Jason Smith were creeping toward foul problems early in Game 1. Washington, who went 3-1 versus Atlanta this past regular season, took Game 1 in Washington, 114-107.

Wall hadn't forgotten the five fractures in his left hand and wrist that cost him three games against Atlanta two years ago, a series Washington lost as a result.

Washington's short-handed frontcourt received 14 points and 10 rebounds from Marcin Gortat, who effectively neutralized Atlanta's Dwight Howard (7 points).

"The difference in the game was we were playing basketball and they were playing MMA", Millsap told reporters, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Then, with 10:35 left in the quarter, Brandon Jennings hit a stepback jumper to bring the game within two points. 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. The Nationals trailed 4-3 in the ninth when Joaquin Benoit walked Chris Heisey with one out, and Adam Eaton singled. Washington knows it won't have Ian Mahinmi to start the series because of a strained calf, and his 6-foot-11 frame will be sorely missed. 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. "I think it's important that we come out and get this one Wednesday and take it back to Atlanta". "Just a little bit of a gut feel".

For the quarter, the Wizards 1-2 punch outscored the Hawks 24-23.

Said guard Bradley Beal: "We continue to feed off of that". The game had zero flow to it and Washington was looking for calls every time down the court.

Morris went along with Millsap's words, saying that they could expect "double MMA" in game two.

Paul Millsap added second best 19 points. Not only is he one of the best players in his position, he's one of the best players in the league.

  • Julie Sanders