Bradly Beal carried on with a sprained ankle and netted 28 points to lead the Washington Wizards to a 104-98 victory over top-seeded Atlanta Hawks in game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series on Sunday.
Washington had a week off ahead of Game 1 after routing Toronto 4-0 in the 1st round playoffs. The Hawks displayed more flair in the opening quarter at home to lead the highest scoring first quarter of post-season 37-26. The break paid off in the deciding 4th quarter of the game, as the Wizards dismantled the Hawks to remain unbeaten in this edition’s playoffs.
“Just withstanding adversity,” said John Wall of the Wizards. “We knew they’re going to come out and give us a punch right away.”
The Hawks could only score 5 of 28 in the final period. From the point-range, their performance was more frustrating, as they scored only once from 10 chances.
Otto Porter had a double big-basket and Marcin Gortat sealed the game in Wizards’ favor scoring an assist from Wall, who scored 18 points and 13 assists. Bradly Beal also had seven rebounds. Washington also became the first team in NBA history to register four straight game 1 victories.
DeMarre Carroll once more led Atlanta with 24 points. The Hawks took 6 games to beat 8th seeded Brooklyn and only managed a three-day turnover.
“Our pace was better in the first half,” Hawks star Al Horford said. “Maybe in the second half, we were just tired or whatever.”
Game 2 is scheduled on Tuesday at Atlanta.