NationalSportsWilliam J. Ford

Wizards Stop Skid, Top Hawks at Home

Bradley Beal scored 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and John Wall shook off a scoreless first half to finish with 22 points and 10 assists as the Washington Wizards defeated the Atlanta Hawks 104-100 at Verizon Center Wednesday night.

After a sluggish first half and shooting just 34 percent from the floor, the Wizards woke up in the second half, scoring 64 after the break.

Wall shot just 6-21 from the field, but still notched his 46th double-double of the season, tied for seventh in the NBA with Hawks center Dwight Howard.

“John did not have his shot falling for him, but he still played a defensive game and he passed the ball with 10 assists,” said Wizards head coach Scott Brooks. “I told him this earlier morning, ‘You can dominate the game with your defense and passing.’ I like that fact that he was still defending and making plays for his team.”

Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks speaks to reporters after the Wizards' 104-100 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at Verizon Center in northwest D.C. on March 22. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks speaks to reporters after the Wizards’ 104-100 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at Verizon Center in northwest D.C. on March 22. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

Brooks praised the entire team’s defensive effort that forced the Hawks (37-34) to shoot 39.5 percent from the floor and outrebounded them 55-44.

The Wizards (43-28) committed 18 turnovers in the first three quarters, but just one in the fourth quarter as Beal and Wall heated up, scoring six and 10 points, respectively.

The Wizards reserves also outscored the Hawks bench, 27-24, led by center Ian Mahinmi with four points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes.

“Ian has been great for us,” Wall said. “Ian gives us another presence that can block shots and defends for us and rebound. He’s bringing a presence we’ve been missing all season.”

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Washington, which had dropped four of its previous five games before Wednesday.

The Wizards host the league-worst Brooklyn Nets (14-56) Friday before beginning a nine-day, five-game road trip Saturday against the defending NBA champions Cleveland Cavaliers (46-24).

Eight of the Wizards’ last 11 regular season games are on the road. Washington currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference, one game ahead of the Toronto Raptors and 1.5 games behind the second-place Boston Celtics.

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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