The Washington Wizards dominated the Atlanta Hawks on the road with an 112-86 win.
Wizards Make Statement Early
The Washington Wizards are becoming one of the best first quarter teams in the league. They had another strong start, outscoring the Hawks 37-25 in the first. After struggling recently, Marcin Gortat had 10 points and five rebounds following the first quarter. After an energetic offensive quarter, Washington had a solid defensive second quarter. They held Atlanta to just 19 points and led at halftime 67-45 despite having 12 turnovers. All the Wizards starters scored in double figures in the first half except Otto Porter, Jr., who had nine. Washington could do no wrong in the first half. They shot 58.3 percent while holding the Hawks to just 34.1 percent.
Unlike other games, Washington kept the foot on the pedal. They outscored Atlanta 26-23, entering the fourth quarter with an astounding 25-point lead. The Wizards starters were too much for the Hawks to handle.
Wall, who was named to his fourth all-star game last night, finished the game with 19 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. Markieff Morris had another solid performance with 15 points and nine rebounds. Gortat had a good all-around game with 15 points, 12 rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. Porter had a huge game with 21 points (five three-pointers) and 11 rebounds.
Kent Bazemore led the Hawks with 15 points and Dwight Howard added 12 points and 13 rebounds.
On to “The Big Easy”
The Wizards have a tough game as they go to New Orleans to face Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. The Pelicans are coming off a huge victory against the San Antonio Spurs.
The biggest name on the Pelicans roster is superstar Davis. Davis is one of the best in the league, but Jrue Holiday is the X factor. Holiday has been playing great as of late. When Davis was hurt, Holiday had 33 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks in a win over the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Holiday had 23 points and 11 assists in the win over the Spurs. Although Davis will be the main focal point, Holiday is just as important.
Washington needs to keep this momentum going into New Orleans. After struggling earlier in the season, they have won three of their last four away games. They have now scored 100 points in 13 straight games. The defense still needs work but the win against the Hawks showed what they are capable of. Morris has been the most consistent player, besides Wall, on the roster. He will play a huge part in this game Sunday. As long as they come out aggressive like they have recently, they should be able to win.