(SportsNetwork.com) - The top-seeded Atlanta Hawks will try to take the series lead over the Washington Wizards Wednesday night when Game 5 returns to Philips Arena.
This Eastern Conference semifinal matchup is knotted 2-2 after the Hawks took Game 4 Monday night, 106-101, at the Verizon Center in Washington.
Atlanta avoided another Paul Pierce buzzer-beater on Monday.
Trailing 104-101, Wizards coach Randy Wittman called timeout with 9.5 seconds left. Nene provided a stiff screen at the top of the key on Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll, allowing Pierce to dart to the right wing unabated. Pierce flailed his legs on the release, but the shot harmlessly drew iron.
"The open one is always the hardest one to make," said Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who scored a playoff career-high 34 points.
Paul Millsap made a pair of free throws at the other end to seal the outcome.
Pierce's step-back jumper at the buzzer lifted Washington to a Game 3 win.
Jeff Teague had 26 points and eight assists to lead the Hawks. Millsap finished with 19 points and five rebounds, Al Horford posted 18 points and 10 boards and Dennis Schroder added 14 points and eight assists off the bench for Atlanta, which tallied 30 assists on its 41 made baskets.
The Hawks outscored Washington 32-16 in the paint and shot 59.1 percent in the first half to help them build a 10-point cushion at the break.
"That's how we play," Millsap said of the points in the paint disparity. "We attack."
Atlanta head coach Mike Budenholzer employed a lineup of Teague and Schroder for a good chunk of the fourth quarter. The Hawks' second unit came up huge when things got tight.
Washington used a spurt in the beginning stages of the third quarter to get within one, but Atlanta responded by pulling away again and the Wizards didn't get close again until the final minute.
"We weathered that storm," Budenholzer said. "Our bench is important to us and helped us during that stretch."
Pierce netted 22 points for fifth-seeded Washington, which made 10-or-more 3- pointers for the sixth time in eight playoff games after doing so just seven times during the regular season.
Washington played its third consecutive game without All-Star point guard John Wall, who has five broken bones in his left hand and wrist after a Game 1 injury. His status for the rest of the series remains up in the air.
"We won one game without John," Beal said. "We can do it again."
Wall made some progress on Tuesday. He was able to dribble with his left hand, which was a huge step in the recovery process.
"He's moving in the right direction," Wittman said. "The swelling is down again. Minimal swelling. He wanted to dribble the ball a little bit. Get the feel of it here."
Game 6 will be Friday night in Washington.