Hawks even up series with Wizards with Game 4 win

Washington won Games 1 and 2 by single digits at the Verizon Center.

Monday night's Game 4 in Atlanta started nothing like the Game 3 blowout the Wizards suffered at the hands of the Hawks on Saturday night.

In the final five minutes, Paul Millsap and Dennis Schroder, who struggled most of the game after playing well in the first three games, took over with some key shots to put the game away for Atlanta and lock the series up at 2-2. John Wall scored a series-low 22 points and added 10 assists and five rebounds. Wall had a rather pedestrian 22 points, 10 assists and five rebounds.

Atlanta's Dennis Schroder and Washington's John Wall have been two of the focal points in the series, which the Wizards lead 2-1. He shot just 3-of-10 in this one with nine points. Unfortunately, some of the woes that plagued Washington in Game 3 crept back in during the second quarter, where the Hawks fired up their home crowd once again and changed the tone of the remainder of the game. The second quarter of Game 4 was when things got interesting. Washington scored only three points over the first six minutes of the second quarter and 15 overall in the frame, while Atlanta scored 31 to take a nine-point lead into the break. Furthermore, Atlanta tallied 10 more assists on made baskets and almost double the amount of paint points (60) than its opposition, thanks to a plethora of tear-dropping floaters by oft-penetrator Schroder. Bradley Beal tallied 12 points in the third and found his stroke from beyond the arc, but also found himself in foul trouble with four at the 0:49 mark in the quarter.

After shooting 1 for 6 in the first, Antetokounmpo was a ideal 6 for 6 in the second, scoring 13 points to help the Bucks close the gap. Washington turned on the intensity midway through the first quarter, which effectively quieted the raucous Atlanta fans. Otto Porter (13 points), who left Game 3 with a stinger in his neck and left shoulder, shot 5-for-10.

As Wall shared a similar lament, he countered with an argument that the Wizards had been forced into more jump shots and therefore drew less fouls. Wall misfired on a lob to Morris at the rim and then Beal misfired with a lob to Wall. He had 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, a solid turnaround after a cold start to the series. The over/under total for the game is listed at 210.5 points. By the end of the evening, he was smiling at the postgame podium in a sweater any grandmother would approve of.

"I think anytime that happens, I think we rise to the occasion".

"We can't have him as an X-factor", Marcin Gortat said, shaking his head. Even more troubling, Washington grew exceptionally sloppy with the ball and committed eight turnovers. Serge Ibaka contributed 19 points, DeMar DeRozan had 18, DeMarre Carroll added 12 and Cory Joseph scored 10 off the bench. He, like other Washington players, was a victim of Jennings' inability to defend.

Regardless of whether Beal's being serious, he's officially gone "Sorry, Ms. Jackson" from the field in this series. His fourth foul was a result of doing so. It was tied at 77 going to the fourth. That's when Atlanta made Millsap look prescient with an early 8-0 run - again with Calderon on the floor - against a Washington group that had Otto Porter as the lone starter.

The Wizards haven't. Not even close. Everyone else remains fighting it out.

In Toronto, the Raptors took a commanding 3-2 series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks with a 118-93 victory. Atlanta also held a small advantage on the boards, out-rebounding Washington, 49-46.

"Still high", said Jennings of the team's mood.

If they were, they'd have taken Game 4 and run with it.

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