Balanced Hawks hold off Wizards 111-101, even series 2-all

Washington really needs to get him back into rhythm to turn the tide back in Game 5.

Paul Millsap bounced back from a sluggish start to score 19 points, Dwight Howard had his best game of the postseason and the Atlanta Hawks pulled away from the Washington Wizards 111-101 Monday night to even the opening-round playoff series at 2-all.

The Washington Wizards play host to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5 at the Verizon Center on Wednesday.

"You know what? I like his looks", Washington coach Scott Brooks said of Beal. He has failed to live up to expectations since signing a big contract in the offseason, but tonight he showed the energy that Hawks fans came to love previous year. Livingston played in Game 1. "He makes winning basketball plays for every team he's been on". Calderon replaced Schroder and gave the Hawks a solid option on offense without sacrificing too much defensively. When they get it going, they're not a No. 5 seed. Calderon then signed with Atlanta and has been a valuable backup and occasional tutor for the mercurial Schroder.

Durant injured his calf in the third quarter of Game 1. Calderon scored eight points in the quarter and finished with 10 in the game.

SALT LAKE CITY - Joe Johnson scored 28 points, and the Jazz beat the Clippers to even their first-round playoff series at 2-all. He was 6 of 15 from the field and 4 of 4 at the line with three rebounds. Morris called Millsap a "crybaby" after Game 3, and it seems like Millsap has let his play do the talking. Pressed into early duty due to foul trouble by Dennis Schröder, Calderon responded with 10 points and five assists off the bench in 20 minutes of playing time.

Millsap led a balanced Hawks attack with 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer left him on the floor. They were also heavy on the glass, racking up 50 for the game. Paul is in a good place. I've got confidence in him, how he plays. I should be around for a lot of the night. Curry swished a 31-foot 3-pointer that made it 104-77 late in the third quarter and the Blazers couldn't catch up.

Washington star John Wall scored a series-low 22 points and added 10 assists and 5 rebounds. Marcin Gortat had a game-high 18 rebounds, and Otto Porter Jr. and Bojan Bogdanovic each scored 13.

Kent Bazemore helped with playmaking and distribution, making five first-half assists, two coming on consecutive lobs to Dwight Howard, who scored almost as many points in this half (14) as in Games 1, 2 and 3 combined (18).

Tony Snell had 19 points and 4 rebounds in Saturday's loss while Giannis Antetokounmpo and Greg Monroe added 14 points and 9 rebounds each.

With Beal finally knocking down some jumpers, Washington shot almost 58 percent in the opening period and built a 35-28 lead. Atlanta defeated Washington by double digits at Philips Arena in Games 3 and 4. After Dennis Schroeder followed with a three-pointer for the home team, the Wizards were done. Their collective defensive effort in the second and fourth quarters was outstanding. A couple of mistakes cost us. We did battle back, tied it up in the third. He also was fouled, and after he made the free throw, the Hawks led 100-93. Games 1 and 2 had gone to the Wizards in D.C. Game 3 had yielded the customary last-stand effort from the trailing team. Atlanta briefly built a five-point lead but could not take control.

"It was a good shot", said Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who led the Wizards with 30 points.

As was fairly clear heading into the series, the Blazers have their virtues, but simply don't have enough to keep up with the Warriors, or slow them down over the course of 48 minutes.

This series has been a slugfest, and the Wizards losing game 3 was no big surprise.

  • Julie Sanders