Balanced Hawks scoring output evens series with Wizards at 2-2

The Wizards continued to give up easy baskets to Atlanta rookie forward Taurean Prince, and Bazemore made open shots and helped Calderon with playmaking duties, registering five first-half assists. Dwight Howard, who'd scored 18 points in Games 1-3, scored 16 in Game 4.

Long ago, Red Holzman, then the New York Knicks' coach, offered this pearl of wisdom to Larry Merchant, then a writer for the New York Post: "The odd-numbered games of a series are important; the even-numbered games are critical".

Game 5 will be Wednesday at Washington and Game 6 on Friday in Atlanta.

After the 87-76 Game 4 loss Saturday night, the Milwaukee Bucks travels to Toronto for NBA Playoffs First Round, Game 5 against Raptors Monday. "One thing I do know about Jose - and I don't know him, but I've seen him enough - he's a victor", Washington coach Scott Brooks said.

Kyle Lowry added 16 points and 10 assists for the Raptors.

Wall had little help in Game 3 from running mate Bradley Beal, who followed his 31-point effort in Game 2 with 12 points.

In consecutive games, Washington has spent a single quarter being trampled. On the turnover front, the Wizards had a whopping eight turnovers in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Dennis Schroder had 18 points, all in the second half. Muscala's time was limited to seven minutes while Ersan Ilyasova (six points) logged 22 minutes.

Morris had nine points for the Wizards, who were led by Bradley Beal's 32.

The table had been set for the Wizards as they led by nine in the first quarter only to trail by that exact margin at halftime 59-50.

Washington initially bounced back nicely from its ugly Game 3 showing by scoring 35 points in the first quarter to take a seven-point lead. The quarter ended when Wall took a spinning midrange jumper against multiple defenders. Wall finished the game with 29 points on just 12 shots, making him the only Wizards' starter to have an effective game. Beal was all alone but backrimmed the shot. Instead, he walked off the floor irritated. The over/under total for the game is listed at 210.5 points. By the end of the evening, he was smiling at the postgame podium in a sweater any grandmother would approve of. Calderon's plus/minus for the second quarter was an astonishing Plus-22.

"I think anytime that happens, I think we rise to the occasion".

Gortat was great on the glass in this one, pulling in 18 rebounds, including 4 on the offensive glass.

Plugging away in the third drew Washington even. He, like other Washington players, was a victim of Jennings' inability to defend. His fourth foul was a result of doing so.

Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) has the ball knocked away by Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr.

-Bogdanovic shot 1-for-10 from three for the first three games of the series before he found his touch late. Since that epic overtime tussle with Cleveland in early February, dreams of a Wizards-Cavaliers Eastern Conference finals have danced in heads in the District and far beyond. Everyone else remains fighting it out.

If you had told any sane person before the game that Calderon and Bazemore would need that kind of production to keep the Wizards from winning, the logical reaction would have been to start collecting restaurant recommendations in Chicago and Boston.

In Toronto, the Raptors took a commanding 3-2 series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks with a 118-93 victory.

  • Julie Sanders