Published January 13, 2015
The Washington Wizards haven't had a lot to get excited about this season, but all of that changed on Saturday.
John Wall, who had yet to play this season because of a knee injury, made his season debut, dropping in 14 points and four assists to lead the Wizards to 93-83 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Verizon Center.
"I think we were all excited to have our first game back (together)," said Wall, who noted he didn't experience any issues with his injured knee.
Bradley Beal and A.J. Price scored 16 points each and Martell Webster added 15 points for the Wizards, who won back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Jeff Teague poured in a game-high 19 points, Al Horford scored 16 points to go with 12 rebounds and Josh Smith added 11 points and eight boards for the Hawks, losers in five of their last six contests.
The Wizards outscored the Hawks, 27-17, over the first 12 minutes. Beal poured in eight points in the frame to lead an effective Washington scoring attack which shot 52.9 percent (9-for-17) in the quarter.
Atlanta, though, bounced back with a strong second stanza and go into the break down just 51-50. The Hawks opened the frame with a 19-6 run to go up 36-33 near the midway point.
Smith's deep trey with 2:49 left in the half staked Atlanta a 47-39 cushion, but Washington closed the half with a 12-3 burst to go into the break leading by one.
The Wizards used a 10-2 run in the early stages of the third to go up 61-52, but a 14-9 sequence cut the Hawks' deficit to 70-66. Wall, though, completed a three-point play with two seconds left to give Washington a 73-66 lead entering the final period.
Atlanta couldn't get closer than five the rest of the way.
"We didn't play well," Teague said bluntly. "When you don't play well, you don't win."
The Wizards were without guard Jordan Crawford, who is nursing a sore left ankle ... Washington outscored Atlanta in the paint, 46-22 ... Price set a season-high in points.