Wizards unable to recover in Atlanta in Game 3
By Zach Rosen
The Wizards came to Atlanta with a 2-0 lead in the series, but were unable to recover after a fast start by the Hawks. Atlanta led by as many as 25 points in the game, and the Wizards were never within single digits after the first quarter. John Wall was a bright spot, however, scoring 27 points in 31 minutes and dominating at times in the game. With a pivotal Game 4 looming, the Wizards will study the film and hit the practice court before Monday.
Here are some takeaways from Game 3.
Wizards can't recover from Hawks' big first quarter
The Hawks started the game sizzling, making 15 of 23 shots in the first quarter. Atlanta hit five 3-pointers in the opening 12 minutes, more than the four (of 20 attempts) they made in Game 2. The Hawks opened up a 38-20 lead after the first quarter, which would prove to be too big of a deficit for the Wizards to recover from. Without John Wall's 14 points on 4/5 shooting in the quarter, the rest of the team shot 3/18 from the field for six points in the quarter. This would unfortunately become a trend for the Wizards, but give credit to the Hawks for their ball movement and limited mistakes.
"We haven't come out with that kind of effort and intensity in a long time," Hawks All-Star Paul Millsap said after the game.
Wall, Jennings bright spots for Wizards
John Wall kept the Wizards in it with 27 points and seven assists, including some miraculous plays in the first quarter. Wall made 10 of his 12 shot attempts and 8/10 free throws. Overall, Wall was spectacular in a game the team will try to forget. The Wizards can still take away what Wall was able to do – run on the Hawks in transition and get to the rim effectively.
Brandon Jennings had one of his best games in a Wizards uniform with 13 points on 4/6 shooting. Jennings led a 12-3 run to start the fourth quarter and grind the Wizards within 12 points. He’s now put together two solid back-to-back games and the Wizards were +7 with him on the court.
Other starters struggle
Starters not named Wall scored 30 points in the game on 14/45 (31.1%) shooting. Bradley Beal struggled to find a rhythm, scoring 12 points on 6/20 field goals. The open looks were there, and it was obvious that he was a bit frustrated. Still, Beal will shoot of this funk and find his stroke again, which Wall alluded to postgame.
"He'll bounce back," Scott Brooks said about Beal. "He's a big winner. He's going to come out and make shots hopefully next game."
Markieff Morris was 4/14 for nine points, as open looks just wouldn’t fall. Otto Porter Jr. left the game in the third quarter with a neck injury and did not return. 11-2 run in 3rd to get within 13
NEXT: Game 4 - Monday 8:00pm at Hawks
Wizards – Ian Mahinmi, Chris McCullough
Hawks – DeAndre Bembry, Ryan Kelly
Shooting %: 41.6% (37/89)
3-point %: 24.1% (7/29)
FT %: 85.0% (17/20)
Rebounds: 42 (6 OREB)
Shooting %: 49.4% (44/89)
3-point %: 36.0% (9/25)
FT %: 59.4% (19/32)
Rebounds: 50 (11 OREB)