After dropping 4 games during a six game road trip, the Atlanta Hawks returned to the friendly confines of Philips Arena where they boast a 13-6 record. The team du jour was none other than the struggling and short-handed Washington Wizards (10-33).
The Wizards, sporting their new retro-Wes Unseld red-white-blue unis, were without Nene and Brian Cook who were part of the three-team trade that sent Nick Young to the Clippers and JeVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to the Nuggets. Washington was also without forward Rashard Lewis who was nursing a sore left knee.
Joe Johnson scored 15 of his game high 34 points in the first quarter to give the Hawks an early lead. The Hawks fell off in the second as the Wizards bench, led by Roger Mason’s 7 points, out-scored Atlanta’s 17-9 for a 54-50 halftime lead.
The shooting woes Washington experienced in the third quarter against New Orleans reappeared in Atlanta. Only four Wizards scored in the 10 point period as just two starters and two reserves connected on 5 of 21 from the field.
Atlanta added to their 11 point third quarter lead due in part to 7 fast break points off of 5 turnovers – three by guard John Wall. The lead swelled to as high as 17 on a converted three point play from Jeff Teague with just over 5 minutes remaining.
Washington takes on Memphis (24-18) next at the FedEx Forum while the Hawks face the Cavaliers at the Q.
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