Hawks star Millsap says Wizards 'were playing MMA' in game-one win

The Atlanta Hawks (43-39) meet the Washington Wizards (49-33) in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference best-of-seven playoff series in the 2017 NBA Playoffs on Sunday, April 16, 2017 (4/16/17) at Verizon Center iN Washington, D.C.

Asked to consider how Wall "kind of" took over the third quarter, Washington coach Scott Brooks asked a question back.

Dwight Howard had 14 rebounds and seven points for Atlanta. Wall scored 32 points for the second consecutive game and also added nine assists.

That offense from Wall, Beal and Morris was enough to offset 25 points from Atlanta's Dennis Schroder and 19 from Paul Millsap, who wasn't pleased with Washington's physicality and exchanged words with Morris going into halftime. If he wants to be taken seriously as an National Basketball Association superstar, he has to lead the Wizards to a first-round victory over the Hawks. Millsap made a bank shot, assisted Bazemore on a make and had a steal that cut a 10-point deficit in half quickly. Center Marcin Gortat had 14 points and 10 rebounds (six offensive) as well. He won't make a huge difference in this series, but, he'll still pull down 15 boards a game and contribute some fun dunks and blocks, too.

In Wall and Beal, the Wizards have their superstars in place. Millsap scored 19 points, but he could not guard Morris and was very frustrated when Morris guarded him effectively and Millsap could only get two rebounds during the game and had plus/minus -19 which means that his team was outscored by 19 when he was on the floor. Jose Calderon (two points) is a much better matchup for Jennings, who can better stay in front of him and isn't at a significant strength disadvantage. He immediately began chasing it down as it went towards the Hawks bench.

That falls on Tim Hardaway Jr.

-Beal had his share of open shots and mismatches but was indecisive. Bradley Beal talked about how the home crowd deserved a victor and what a great feeling it was to have the city of DC behind this team. Mancini connected twice for the second time in three games. That's huge, but the Hawks' inability to guard the pick and roll may be a larger issue. After 448 regular-season games, Morris finally made it to the postseason with the Washington Wizards, catching fire in the second half.

-The shooting was awful. He did destroy them in transition, of course, but he also consistently created great looks in the half court. The Pirates scored three times in the eighth off Koji Uehara (0-1), getting the go-ahead run when pinch runner Alec Hanson slid home on a bases-loaded grounder - a replay review upheld the call that catcher Willson Contreras was barely off the plate when he caught a throw on an attempted force play.

The early developments of the Wizards-Hawks series should have thrilled UFC President Dana White; both teams have given his league tons of free advertisement. He mustered four points off the Washington bench. In short, it was a "successful" quarter in that the Hawks mucked things up to the tune of 16 combined fouls and 18 combined three throws but it certainly was not a viewer's choice period. Porter had to leave after his fourth foul just 1:40 had elapsed. Wall is particularly adept at finding Gortat around the rim - in the fourth quarter, the two connected for two more buckets around the basket.

However, foul trouble kept the Wizards from doing that completely.


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