Notebook: Wizards 93, Hawks 83



Posted Jan 13, 2013 12:01 AM

Benjamin Standig, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: John Wall scored 14 points in his season debut and the Wizards won back-to-back games for the first time this season with a 93-83 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.

Bradley Beal and A.J. Price each scored 16 points for the Wizards (6-28), who beat the Hawks for the first time in four games this season. Emeka Okafor had 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Martell Webster scored 15. Washington defeated Oklahoma City 101-99 on Monday.

Wall, who missed the opening 33 games with a left knee stress injury, entered to a standing ovation with 4:56 left in the first quarter and played 21 minutes including the final six. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft made 5 of 11 shots, had four assists and helped Washington fend off Atlanta while constantly repeating, "I'm back," in the game's final minutes.

Jeff Teague scored 19 points and Al Horford had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Hawks (21-15), who have lost four of five games.

QUOTABLE: "It was a big day for me especially since I was just nervous just thinking how would I feel, how would I go throughout the game after just going through practice. My home boys-slash-brothers at home were joking, happy the whole day. I'm just trying to stay calm and take a nap."
-- Wall on his emotions following his first game since April 26, 2012

THE STAT: Steady ball movement consistently set up Washington with looks inside and the Wizards finished with a 46-22 points in the paint advantage.

TURNING POINT: Probably the first moment Wall stepped on the court, but the electric playmaker's return in the fourth quarter ended any potential for another late-game collapse. Wall returned after Atlanta pulled to within 83-77 and helped stretch the lead to 13 by scoring six of Washington's next eight points. For his final act, Wall fed Trevor Ariza for a dunk with a left-handed behind-the-back pass that brought the crowd back to its feet. Wall saluted the fans in response.

QUOTABLE II: "It gave me a big lift so I know it had to give our guys. These guys have got to be smiling on some of the shots they are going to get in transition with John pushing the ball up. A number of them tonight.

-- Wizards coach Randy Wittman

HOT: Price, who returned to the lineup Monday after missing 15 games with a fractured hand, started and set a season-high with 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting.

NOT: The Hawks collectively shot 38.5 percent from the field including 7-for-24 from beyond the 3-point arc. Josh Smith finished 4-for-13 and missed three of four 3-pointers.

QUOTABLE III: "We launch 24 3s, we won't win another road game. We have to understand that when you play on the road, you have to be selective with your shots and you've got to be able to executive your offense."

-- Atlanta coach Larry Drew

GOOD MOVE: Wittman taking Jan Vesely out of the game. The No. 6 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft almost did that himself by picking up five fouls in five scoreless minutes.

NOTABLE: The Wizards played without Jordan Crawford (sore left ankle) and Cartier Martin (hyper-extended left knee) for the second straight game.

UP NEXT: For the Hawks, Monday @ Chicago, Wednesday vs. Brooklyn, Friday @ Brooklyn. For the Wizards, Monday vs. Atlanta, Wednesday @ Sacramento, Friday @ Denver.