Hawks Wizards Game 5 Recap

kim kardashian

Game 5 in Atlanta was a back and forth affair. Both teams had a shot to win, but as so frequently is the case with basketball, the team with the last shot won. The Hawks won 82-81 to go up 3-2 in their second round series thanks to Al Horford.

Horford swooped in on the final possession to snatch the rebound of a missed Dennis Schroder layup away from Nene for an easy lay-in. Not only did he have the game winning basket, Horford carried the team, making clutch plays on more than a few occasions. Leading the Hawks with 23 points (10-18 shooting) 11 rebounds and 5 blocks, Horford was the only player Atlanta got going all game.

With 4:25 left in the fourth, Horford hit a three from the right corner to bring Atlanta within 1. Then, a couple of possessions later, he splashed a midranger to put the Hawks up 1 with 3:20 to play. His night was far from over, as he started a fast break to put the Hawks up 2 with 17 seconds left. Of course, he then went on to make the game winning shot.

In response, Horford said, “We’re happy, but we understand its one game.”

Other than Horford, the Hawks were relatively stagnant on the offensive end. Despite hitting a deep three in the fourth, Kyle Korver was once again a no-show, ending with 3 points on 1-5 shooting. That said, despite his continued shooting slump, Korver contributed on the defensive side snagging 6 steals and 5 defensive boards. In the playoffs, first the Nets and now the Wizards have focused much of their defensive efforts around stopping Korver, and forcing the ball into less capable shooting hands.

The pregame storyline centered on John Wall. He was supposed to save the day. Making a miraculous comeback from five non-displaced fractures suffered in Game 1 only eleven days ago, even the point guard messiah could not stave off defeat.

Wall’s absence has been noticeable, as Jeff Teague ran wild without a prominent wing defender covering him. On the offensive side, there hasn’t been as much of a struggle, but his presence as a creator and an emotional leader has certainly been missed.

One of the people picking up the slack in Wall’s absence has been Paul Pierce. Once thought to be washed up, Pierce has continuously proved his doubters wrong and has played a crucial role on this young team. His veteran leadership has been invaluable, and his late game presence is remarkable. In Game 3 without John Wall, Pierce hit a double covered, fade-away, midrange buzzer beater to hold off a 20 point comeback in the fourth quarter by Atlanta. In Game 5 he was no less clutch, hitting a corner 3 to go up by one point with 8 seconds to go.

The importance of this game was not lost on either team. Rushing Wall back, the Wizards hoped to win this game in order to have the opportunity to close out in a Game 6 at home. On the other hand, the Hawks needed to hold serve at home as they were far better at home during the regular season (35-6) than on the road (25-16). In squeaking this one out, the Hawks have two chances to close out the series and are guaranteed home court if Game 7 were to be needed.

Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 23 points on a rather poor shooting night (9-21 from the field) (1-5 from three).

The series heads back to the nation’s capital for Game 6 on Friday.

Photo: Youtube / NBA

About Will Innes

I am a sarcastic politics junkie who also loves sports and television. I specialize in domestic politics, international relations and contempt for the Red Sox.

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