Behind a brilliant performance by John Wall, Washington handled their business and took game one against Atlanta 114-107.
The Wizards were hosting their first playoff series since the 1978-79 season. Atlanta came in losing two of the three regular season meetings against Washington and was looking to start their playoff push back to the conference finals, which they are two years removed. Wall and company has other plans however. Finishing the game with 32 points and 14 assists, John was playing a step faster than everybody on the floor. With blazing fast breaks, filthy passes, and stifling defense, Wall was the clear MVP on the day.
This was a very physical game throughout. Atlanta star Paul Millsap said after the game “The difference in the game was we were playing basketball and they were playing MMA.” Every starter for Washington finished with at least two personal fouls and it was clear early that they were ready for a dog fight. Markieff Morris and Bradley Beal were huge for the Wizards, finishing with 21 and 22 points respectfully. Marcin Gortat finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Otto Poter Jr. tallied 1o points respectfully.
The lead swung back and forth through the first three quarters. Atlanta used a huge second quarter run to extend their lead to as much as eight points, after Washington built a lead to 15. It was Dennis Schroder that was the high man for Atlanta, finishing with 25 points while Millsap ended the game with 19 points.
Washington will look to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series on Wednesday, April 19.