The Wizards finished up their tough eight-games-in-12-nights stretch with a nice victory over the Hawks, 108-101. It gives them a 6-2 record over that period and also makes them an impressive 4-1 on the second night of back-to-backs. The Wizards got a big lead early in the third quarter, as large as 18 points, but the Hawks came back in the fourth, getting as close as two but the Wizards would never relinquish the lead. It was the three ball that kept the Hawks at bay, with the Wizards shooting 12/24 from beyond the arc, including 5/6 from Ariza and 5/9 from Webster. John Wall was brilliant, filling up the statsheet with 26 points on 9/18 shooting, 12 assists, six boards and five steals. All five Wizards starters got into double figures on the night with Ariza getting 24, Webster 19, Nene 13 and Gortat 12. Paul Millsap did his best in the second half to get the Hawks back into the game, going for 19 after the break (and 23 overall) including 4/5 from beyond the arc. The Wizards will now have the opportunity to get .500 with a victory at home over the Magic on Monday. - Jacob Raim
Halftime Update: The tempo didn't pick up until late in the second half, but regardless the Wizards head into the locker room at halftime with a 10 point lead over the Atlanta Hawks. John Wall leads the team in scoring with 14 points, and 5 dimes. Martell Webster, who scored the game's first points from beyond the arc, has 12 points and is 3/5 from 3-point land. Nene, who is returning from a night off against Indiana, added 4 points and 5 rebounds, but more importantly him and Marcin Gortat are doing an excellent job defensively holding Hawks' big men Al Horford and Paul Millsap to 6 points and 2 rebounds, and 4 points and 3 rebounds respectively. Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll, and former Wizard Cartier Martin are tied with 7 points to lead the Hawks in scoring. - Brad Bobrow
We are back home at Verizon Center and ready for the fourth game in five nights and eighth game in 12 nights. This has been a crazy stretch of games for the Wiz, but if they can find a way to win tonight, they could go 6-2 over this two week period.
Tonight, it's the Atlanta Hawks who are in town, a team also playing the second night of a back-to-back. The Hawks (9-8) are one of four teams in the Eastern Conference currently above .500, but the Wizards hope to take them out of that group by beating them tonight.
The Hawks have been a playoff team for quite some time, but have yet to take that next step to be a team that advances in the playoffs. They made some big changes this off-season, most notably letting Josh Smith enter free agency. To replace him, they went out and added the tough Paul Millsap to their front line, a guy that comes into tonight averaging 15.3 ppg.
The Hawks could again be without Kyle Korver, who has missed the last two games with a rib injury. If he can’t go, look for former Wizard Cartier Martin to step in at the two-guard spot. We all know Martin's ability to shoot the ball, so he'll be a guy the Wizards need to keep an eye on around the perimeter.
For the Wizards, they will again be without Bradley Beal (fibula), Otto Porter (hip), and Al Harrington (knee). But the good news is that Nene will be back in the starting lineup after missing last night's game with a sore right Achilles. That will be big as the Wizards go up against a big, physical front line in Atlanta.
The Wizards really missed Nene last night and were held to just 73 points in Indiana. Getting him back in there will allow Jan Vesely to come off the bench again and let the Wizards get back into their more regular rotation.
The Live Chat begins at 7pm. We'll see you there.
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