ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 27: Marcin Gortat #13 of the Washington Wizards boxes out against the Atlanta Hawks on December 27, 2017 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Wizards stifled in loss to Hawks, 113-99

The Hawks won the battle down low in Atlanta on Wednesday night
Photos | Box Score

Fresh off a Christmas Day win in Boston, the Wizards fell to the Hawks on Wednesday night, 113-99. Bradley Beal lead the team with 20 points and six rebounds, while Markieff Morris added 18 points and eight rebounds. The Wizards were out-rebounded 53-40 and outscored in the paint 50-34.

In the first quarter, Markieff Morris scored 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting in nine minutes. John Wall, who scored 42 points in Game 6 last time he was in Philips Arena, had five of his assists in the opening quarter. The Wizards would open up a 17-7 lead, but the Hawks came charging back to tie it at 29-29 heading into the second. Marco Belinelli made all four of his shots to anchor the Hawks’ 13-3 run to tie it.

Jodie Meeks, who had 30 friends and family in the building in his home state, anchored the Wizards in the second quarter with seven points. The Wizards led by as many as eight after an 8-0 run, but the Hawks were able to respond by winning the battle in the paint. In the second quarter overall, the Wizards only had two points on 1-of-6 shooting in the paint due to the Hawks’ stellar interior defense. On the other hand, the Hawks were able to score 16 points in the paint on the Wizards, including a slew of dunks. This would become a theme the rest of the night, with the Wizards struggling to defend the paint and the Hawks protecting the rim.

The Wizards and Hawks went back-and-forth in the third quarter, with the Hawks taking their first lead of the game with 4:55 left in the third. The Wizards had six turnovers in the third, which would only begin the sloppiness that occurred in the fourth. Dennis Schroder was able to get going for the Hawks, with 11 points in the third.

Lead 78-76 to begin the fourth quarter, the Hawks built as large as an 18-point in the fourth quarter. The Wizards went cold, especially from beyond the arc, while the Hawks were winning loose balls and corralling offensive rebounds. Washington tried to counter with their small-ball lineup in the final nine minutes, but the Hawks took advantage in the paint once again.

The Wizards won Monday’s Christmas Day game against the Celtics by winning loose balls and defending the paint. However, in Atlanta, the Hawks out-hustled the Wizards and made the extra winning plays to win the second half 58-44.

Next up, the Wizards head home for eight of their next nine games at home, beginning with the Rockets on Friday night at 7:00pm.