Published May 03, 2016
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - DeMarre Carroll led the way with 22 points, Al Horford and Paul Millsap each scored 18 and the Atlanta Hawks evened their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Washington Wizards with a 106-90 win in Game 2 on Tuesday.
Millsap and Horford combined for 11 assists, with Millsap grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds for the Hawks, who took advantage of a crucial injury for the Wizards to even the series at a game apiece.
Washington was without star point guard John Wall, who missed the game with a wrist injury. Wall, who has posted four consecutive double-doubles, was scratched less than an hour before tip due to the injury he suffered in Game 1.
"(Wall) will be day-to-day. The swelling was too much for him to handle today," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
Ramon Sessions picked up the scoring load starting in place of Wall, leading the Wizards with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Bradley Beal was not as efficient from the floor, however, making 8-of-22 attempts and finishing with 20 points and a team-high seven assists.
Paul Pierce and Otto Porter each had 15 points for Washington, which suffered its first loss of the postseason.
Game 3 will be Saturday night in Washington.
Sessions opened the third quarter with consecutive 3-pointers that brought the Wizards within one, 53-52. Korver countered with a trey and it would remain close the rest of the quarter. Porter canned a 3-pointer late in the frame to tie it at 71-71, but Atlanta outscored Washington 9-4 over the final 2:06 to take an 80-75 lead into the fourth.
"We were trying to get some rhythm heading into the fourth quarter. Last game, we didn't do that," Carroll said.
Dennis Schroder found Horford for an alley-oop dunk early in the fourth to extend the Hawks' edge to nine, but the Wizards battled their way back with six straight points to trim their deficit to 84-81.
Atlanta then locked down from there, with Horford's successive makes igniting an 11-2 run. Pero Antic buried a 3-pointer before he capped the run with two free throws for a 95-83 Hawks lead.
"They made more plays down the stretch," Wittman noted.
Pierce and Beal kept Washington afloat with consecutive field goals to cut the margin to seven. Millsap then drove the lane and kicked to an open Korver for a 3-pointer that made it 98-88 with 2:53 to play. Just over a minute later, Horford found Millsap, who knocked down a corner jumper to restore the 12- point advantage.
"If we keep moving the ball, keep attacking (and) keep finding the open man, good things will happen," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
Atlanta came out strong, making 52.2 percent of its shots over the first 12 minutes, and grabbed a 28-20 lead entering the second.
The Hawks led by as many as 10 in the first quarter and Jeff Teague's free throw just past the midway point of the second put them up 41-31. Washington hung around, however, as Sessions followed a Porter 3-pointer with a runner that brought the Wizards to within 47-44 with 2:04 left in the half. After the teams traded baskets, Millsap and Teague each converted two free throws to give the Hawks a 53-46 lead at halftime.
The Hawks had 30 assists on 37 made baskets ... Atlanta scored 16 points off 16 Washington turnovers ... Korver had a game-high three blocks ... The Wizards converted 12-of-22 shots (54.5 percent) from 3-point range ... Atlanta went 22-of-25 from the free throw line, while the Wizards made 8-of-14 from the stripe ... Wizards forward Nene was held without a field goal for the second straight game.