WASHINGTON (AP) — Fresh off the pain of losing by 15 at home to the Washington Wizards, the Atlanta Hawks couldn’t afford another disappointment. With every other team in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff picture winning, the Hawks were plenty motivated to bounce back.
Behind 23 points from reserve guard Dennis Schroder and a season-high 17 3-pointers, Atlanta did just that in beating Wizards 122-101 on Wednesday night in the second half of the teams’ home-and-home series. The Hawks were all too happy to snap the Wizards’ winning streak at five after the way Monday’s game went.
“It was a pride thing,” said Thabo Sefolosha, who helped hold John Wall to 13 points on 6-of-17 shooting. “We didn’t like the way we played, obviously. We let them play well. They played well in Atlanta. It was definitely good to come out tonight, win this game and kind of get a little bit of revenge.”
Revenge was best served with a potent inside-out attack. Schroder was 7 of 9 from the floor as he drove to the basket and opened up shots, and Kyle Korver scored 15 points, all on 3s.
Atlanta (42-30) attempted a season-high 42 3-pointers because so many of them were open looks. A 25-5 second-half run capped by a 3-pointer by Korver with 10:03 left busted open the game.
“It’s a little bit of a yin and a yang between making shots and getting to the paint, getting to the paint and us opening up shots,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think it starts with getting to the basket. … If they start collapsing and take away that, then there’s opportunities.”
There were opportunities aplenty for Paul Millsap, who scored 17 points after being held to 13 Monday, and for Al Horford, who added 13. It all started with Schroder, who tweaked his left ankle two nights earlier but didn’t miss a step as he carved up the Wizards’ defense.
“What a performance tonight,” Sefolosha said. “He carried the team basically in the second half. Even coming in in the first half he did a great job. But second half he really had it going, kept it going and it was great for us.”
Wall and backcourt mate Bradley Beal never got it going for the Wizards (35-36), who failed in their attempt to get above .500 for the first time since Nov. 24, when they were 6-5. Wall had just two points in the second half, and Beal shot 2 of 8.
“We did a great job on (Wall) and on Bradley Beal, I think, and that’s the key right there,” Schroder said.
Coupled with the Detroit Pistons’ fourth consecutive victory, Washington fell 2 1/2 points back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East with 11 games to go. Turnovers were the Wizards’ undoing as they committed 13 in the second half.
“You can’t get outscored by 21 points off turnovers,” coach Randy Wittman said. “Everything we focused on and did in Atlanta, 50/50 balls they beat us to. They had more offensive rebounds in the first quarter alone than they did in the entire game in Atlanta. That was really the difference.”
Marcus Thornton led the Wizards with 23 points, including five 3s. But it was no match for Atlanta’s barrage from the outside.
OVER THE HUMPHRIES
“We’re very happy to add him to our group,” Budenholzer said. “His rebounding, his physicality – he’s fit in well.”
Hawks: Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 14 points off the bench… A 22-point first quarter snapped Atlanta’s streak of reaching at least 30 in five consecutive games.
Wizards: Jared Dudley‘s 3 with 10:16 left in the second quarter was his first since March 8, eight games ago. Dudley is seventh in the league in 3-point shooting percentage. … Alan Anderson missed his fourth game out of the last five with a left ankle injury. Wittman said he has “no idea” how long Anderson will be out.