Wall powers Wizards past Hawks; Washington takes 1-0 series lead

Wall powers Wizards past Hawks; Washington takes 1-0 series lead

Washington Wizards guard John Wall, top, chases a loose ball against Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroeder, bottom, of Germany, during the first half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Washington. Following Game 3, which is Saturday night in Atlanta, the teams will begin to shorten the space between games in the series. He can not let John Wall go off with 30 points and 12 assists every game if the Hawks are going to win this series.

A collective disdain for the officiating galvanized an announced capacity crowd.

The Wizards' went just 8-28 from deep, but it was not due to stifling defense from the Hawks.

When Paul Millsap said after Game 1 that the Wizards weren't playing MMA, not basketball, he mostly inspired jokes. Those comments didn't sit well with Markieff Morris. "I think it's important that we come out and get this one Wednesday and take it back to Atlanta". Morris also had the hardest task defensively.

"It's the playoffs, man". Atlanta started 9-3, then went 1-10, then 20-9, then 7-15 and then 6-2, before giving away their final game of the regular season to IN when they sat all five starters.

"I heard Millsap saying they don't want Brad and John to score as much and they want to let us [other Wizards] score - basically is what he's saying", Morris said according to The Post. So you know, that didn't change.

"We were just setting the tone", Morris said. "Not worry about what they're saying".

The Blazers suffered a blow when they announced Sunday that center Jusuf Nurkic would miss game one as he continues to recover from a broken right leg. The Hawks adjusted as they kept going with Millsap on the offensive end and the Wizards couldn't do anything about it defensively fearing they'd get called for a foul. "He's a tremendous competitor and he plays with toughness and he gets shots - 32 and 14, that's high level All-Star game". Millsap continued to seek out Morris for more shoves, and although the contact did not incur a whistle, the officiating crew did their best to limit any "double MMA".

Wall powers Wizards past Hawks; Washington takes 1-0 series lead
Wall powers Wizards past Hawks; Washington takes 1-0 series lead

Wall hadn't forgotten the five fractures in his left hand and wrist that cost him three games against Atlanta two years ago, a series Washington lost as a result. Morris committed four fouls, but he could have been whistled for seven or eight. Scott Brooks is in as Wizards coach, Dwight Howard has replaced Al Horford in Atlanta and Wall and Beal are now healthy going into the playoff rematch.

"That is also part of the reason why we've been good this year".

The stop and start play carried over into the second half as the refs continued to enjoy hearing themselves blow the whistle.

But there's more to Wall than understanding how to change speeds. "The game rewards you".

However, foul trouble kept the Wizards from doing that completely.

About 30 seconds later, Howard picked up his fourth foul, while Kent Bazemore was at four entering the last quarter, too.

Story line: Washington was a great comeback story this season, shaking off a 2-8 start like it never happened and putting together the best regular season for the franchise in almost 40 years.

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