It was not the prettiest game by any stretch, but Washington takes a series 2-0 lead into Game 3 tomorrow in Atlanta.
In a game that saw two of the five starters struggle with foul trouble, Washington climbed on the backs of their star players to carry them to victory. After climbing to a 14-6 lead, Washington was in full control. The John Wall-Marcin Gortat pick-n-roll was firing on all cylinders and Washington was looking nearly unstoppable. Atlanta showed it’s poise and climbed back to end the quarter leading a 24-23.
At the half, Washington was able to regain the lead. Atlanta stormed back at the start of the third and carved out a seven point lead, their largest of the night. From that point on, the game turned into a heavy weight match as both teams traded tough shot after tough shot.
It took a 16-point fourth quarter from Bradley Beal and timely baskets by Washington to ultimately secure the win. Wall was the high man as he finished with his second consecutive 32-point game in this series. He also finished with five rebounds and nine assists respectively. Beal ended the night with 31 points while Gortat finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and a game high five blocks.
Paul Millsap ended the game with a team high 27 points and 10 rebounds, he had just nine at the halftime break. Dennis Schroder also chipped in 23 points in the Atlanta loss.
As the series swings to Atlanta from the next two games, Washington will hope to take their late game success into Games 3 and 4. While it is unlikely for Atlanta to continue their high turnover rate (nearly 19 a game this series), Washington currently has the upper hand and will look to finish the series on the road. Game 3 will be on Saturday, April 22, at 5:30 pm EST.