Washington Wizards star point guard John Wall was ruled out for the second-straight contest in Game 3 due to fractures in his left wrist. It didn't seem like it was going to matter early, but they sure could have used him late.
The Wizards blew a 21-point fourth quarter lead over the #1-seeded Hawks, watching as an inspired set of Atlanta Hawks reserves picked them apart in every facet of the game. A stunned Verizon Center crowd would shift from nervousness to delirium in the final seconds, though, as Paul Pierce banked in yet another game-winner in his storied career, this one at the buzzer to end the Hawks' comeback bid in epic fashion.
The second buzzer beater in these playoffs in as many days gives the Wizards a 103-101 win and a 2-1 series advantage over the East's #1 seed.
Key Number: 27
The Wizards' offense was rudderless without John Wall in Game 1, relying on contested iso looks and amassing just 21 assists. Washington was much better at moving the ball on Saturday, posting 27 dimes while passing the eye test with much crisper offensive work in the half court.
Nene Hilario was a force on both ends, scoring 17 points and pulling down seven boards while neutralizing Atlanta's frontcourt advantage for most of the contest. On a day where everyone chipped in, Nene was the standout.
Also, Paul Pierce. Just for being Paul Pierce. Again.
This goes to the Atlanta bench for turning a 20-point laugher with seven minutes left into a three-point nail-biter. Credit goes to Dennis Schroder, Shelvin Mack, Kent Bazemore and the rest of the Hawks' reserves for forcing a boatload of turnovers and knocking down everything in sight to get back in this one.
The teams return to Verizon Center for Monday's Game 4. Tipoff is slated for just after 7:00pm EST.Back to the Washington Wizards Newsfeed