Wizards use late surge to go up 2-0 on Hawks

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) reacts after he made a 3-point basket during the second half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, as Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Muscala runs nearby, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Washington. The Wizards won 109-101. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

The Washington Wizards went on a 17-4 run late in the fourth quarter to earn a 109-101 Game 2 victory over the Atlanta Hawks to take a 2-0 lead with the series shifting to Atlanta for Game 3 on Saturday.

The Wizards’ dynamic backcourt duo led the way, with John Wall and Bradley Beal combining for 16 of the 17 points during the game-deciding spurt. Beal scored 16 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, including a dagger 3 in the final minute. Wall scored 32 points for the second consecutive game and also added nine assists.

The first three quarters of this one were ugly, with tons of whistles, sloppy play and poor shooting. There were 55 fouls called and 71 free throws attempted, and both teams found themselves upset with the officiating throughout the game.

After falling behind by eight points at halftime, the Hawks — who didn’t make a 3 in the first half — used the free throw line to get back in the game. Atlanta went 11-of-11 from the charity stripe as part of a 35-point third quarter to take a four-point lead into the final frame.

The Hawks led by as many as six points early in the fourth quarter, but that’s when Brandon Jennings changed the game. Jennings hit two buckets and assisted Jason Smith on a dunk to tie the game, and the veteran point guard left to a standing ovation when Wall checked back in for him.

Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 27 points and 10 rebounds, while Dennis Schroder added 23 points and six assists. But Atlanta just didn’t have enough offense. The Hawks shot 40.5 percent overall, 4-of-20 from 3 and committed 18 turnovers that led to 23 Wizards points.

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