Wall scores playoff-best 32 as Wizards beat Hawks in Game 1

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Aprile 21, 2017

There were whispers circulating that Brooks was hired to lure free agent Kevin Durant to come play for him in Durant's home town.

MVP ballots are due to the league office on Friday, so the victor of the projected battle between Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook and Houston's James Harden for that trophy will be decided before the Thunder-Rockets series starts. Brooks was an assistant coach with the Seattle SuperSonics during Durant's rookie season in Seattle during the 2007-08 season. Coach is more than confident in me. He was inconsistent in his first year as a full-time starter, but he seems to have embraced the challenge of running an National Basketball Association offense and defending the league's bevy of insanely talented lead guards. Maybe there was a let down from not getting Durant. When they're at their best, they are good at causing mayhem on defense.

Now that Morris understands firsthand the kind of energy required to win in the playoffs, his goal is to sustain it heading into Wednesday's game 2, at 7 p.m. The Washington Wizards have split their last eight road games. Their first win during that stretch was a win over Denver on December 8. The Wizards were in the penalty just 3:15 in the third quarter and Morris, Porter, and Oubre all picked up their fourth personal fouls during that time frame.

Atlanta won the first meeting against Washington in the regular-season opener for both teams, but the Wizards took the next three including both home games. Atlanta made 32 of 39 free throws, but only shot 43.6 percent from the field and committed 21 turnovers.

Key matchup: How the Wizards guard Dwight Howard. How long can they maintain their current upswing? The Hawks will need production from him.

That offense from Wall, Beal and Morris was enough to offset 25 points from Atlanta's Dennis Schroder and 19 from Paul Millsap, who wasn't pleased with Washington's physicality and exchanged words with Morris going into halftime. When asked about the play, Millsap said, "Just two guys playing hard". This was certainly a winnable game for Atlanta, and it casts even more doubt on their prospects for the rest of the series. His backcourt mate Bradley Beal then nailed a three-pointer with 38 seconds left to make it 106-98, effectively sealing the win. Wall had 32 of them to go along with nine rebounds and five assists in a game where he showed how much his skill set has developed since his early years with the organization. Atlanta is postseason-bound for the 10th straight season, followed by Memphis (7), the Clippers (6) and the Warriors and Rockets (5 each).

Draymond Green contributed 19 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists and five blocked shots to help last season's National Basketball Association runner-up take the first step in what it is counting on to be a championship run. Tebow was 3 of 21 at the plate this week. The Wizards are #4 in the league with a 30-11 record at home. And if the Wizards have indeed found their defensive edge, there's very little to doubt about the team overall.

Washington earned the Game 1 victory, but Atlanta shot themselves in the foot for the majority of the 48 minutes.

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