Paul Pierce yelled “series” after his late corner three. That didn’t work out.


When Paul Pierce banked in a game-winning shot to give the Wizards a Game 3 win over the Hawks, he told the television cameras he didn’t call “bank” he called “game.”

He tried to step that up a notch when he hit this three to put the Wizards up one with 8.3 seconds left.

Pierce knows how to talk. Except, there were 8.3 seconds on the clock. The game and the series were not over thanks to Al Horford.

With John Wall back, the Wizards still have a legit shot to win this series. But Pierce and the Wizards need to make sure they have the last nail in the coffin before talking again.

Al Horford hits game-winner to give Hawks Game 5 win over Wizards


The Hawks and the Wizards battled through an ugly but competitive Game 5 contest, only to give us one of the postseason’s more exciting finishes.

In the end, it was Al Horford grabbing an offensive rebound and getting a put-back to go with 1.9 seconds remaining that was the difference, and Atlanta came away with the 82-81 victory to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

John Wall returned to the starting lineup for the Wizards, and played through the five fractures on his non-shooting hand. While he was far from dominant, he was plenty effective, and at times spectacular. Wall finished with 15 points on 7-of-15 shooting, to go along with seven assists, four rebounds and four steals.

Horford, meanwhile, was the man for the Hawks. In addition to coming up with the game-winner, he got the job done on both ends of the floor all night long, leading his team in scoring with 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting, to go along with 11 rebounds and five blocked shots.

Again, this game was far from aesthetically pleasing. The two teams combined to shoot 9-of-38 from three-point distance, and committed a ridiculous total of 42 turnovers.

The Hawks barely scored at all during the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter, and were only able to put up three points on free throws during that painfully long stretch. Their first field goal of the period didn’t come until Kyle Korver knocked down a long three with just under five minutes to play which cut the Wizards lead to three. That was part of a 14-0 run that put the Hawks back in control with under two minutes left.

Then came the late-game heroics.

Paul Pierce was stripped of the ball with the game tied and under 20 seconds left, and that led to a perfectly-executed two-on-one Atlanta fast break that gave the Hawks a two-point lead. Pierce was clearly fouled by Korver on the play, but nothing was called, and he seethed on the bench during the ensuing timeout while plotting his revenge.

Pierce came through on the next possession, knocking down a big-time three to give Washington a one-point lead with eight seconds left. But his effort ultimately went to waste.

Dennis Schröder came flying in for a layup attempt with a few seconds left, and as the shot came off, Horford was in the right place at the right time to convert the game-winning finish.

Despite the ugly statistics, this was a highly-competitive contest that came down to the game’s final possession. Wall played well enough to be emboldened for Game 6 at home, and given just how close the games in this series have been, it wouldn’t at all be surprising to see these two teams back in Atlanta on Monday for a decisive Game 7.

Al Horford hits game-winning putback to put Hawks up 3-2 over Wizards (video)


Al Horford capped a thrilling final few possessions – which featured a Hawks go-ahead fastbreak and a Paul Pierce 3-pointer answer – with the Game 5-winning putback.

Horford (23 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks) carried the Hawks all night in the 82-81 win.

NBA says Kyle Korver didn’t travel on Hawks’ final Game 4 possession


Paul Pierce had a chance to once again be the hero for the Wizards in Game 4 against the Hawks, but his game-tying three-point attempt rimmed out with a few seconds remaining, and Atlanta sealed the victory at the free throw line on the ensuing possession.

But should the Hawks have gotten that chance?

Kyle Korver appeared to have committed a traveling violation upon receiving the inbound pass, before getting the ball to Paul Millsap, who was intentionally fouled and then knocked down two free throws to put the game officially out of reach.

Bradley Beal thought it was a travel, and so did plenty of others. But the league’s ruling, courtesy of the game’s Last Two Minute report, says that the no-call was correct, and that there was no violation.

“Korver (ATL) slides when receiving the inbound pass,” the report says. “Players that fall to the floor while holding the ball (or stopping) may not gain an advantage by sliding. No call is correct as no advantage is gained.”

Wizards fans would obviously disagree.

The falling to the floor part isn’t what people took issue with; it was the “sliding” before then, which appeared to show Korver taking multiple steps to get set after gaining possession.

The advantage may not have been one that could be measured in terms of Korver getting closer to the basket. But it’s a pretty large advantage for the play not to have been ruled a turnover, which would have given the ball back to the Wizards with one more chance to tie things up at the end of regulation.

Bradley Beal, did Kyle Korver travel on Hawks’ final possession of Game 4? ‘Yeah, but they didn’t call it’


The Hawks held on for a Game 4 win over the Wizards on Monday, thanks in part to a wide-open three-pointer that was missed by Paul Pierce that could have tied it with just a few seconds left.

Atlanta’s Paul Millsap was fouled intentionally on the ensuing possession, and he calmly sank two free throws to seal the victory, and put the game out of reach.

But Millsap received the ball from Kyle Korver, who appeared to have traveled before he made the pass.

At least that’s how Bradley Beal saw it.

Beal was asked whether he thought Korver traveled in the closing seconds, right before Millsap was fouled and scored the game’s last two points.

“Yeah, but they didn’t call it,” Beal said. “Oh, well.”

It’s not a completely obvious travel, because the officials could have decided that Korver didn’t fully have possession as his feet were sliding into place.

But if the travel was called, the Wizards would have gotten one more chance at a game-tying three, and given Pierce’s recent history of heroics, who knows how that second chance might have turned out.