Without John Wall, Wizards cruise to easy win over Hawks
ATLANTA (AP) —
With John Wall held out with a sore knee, Washington's winning game plan was executed to near perfection by his backups.
Tomas Satoransky and Tim Frazier combined for 21 assists with only three turnovers and Washington used balanced scoring and strong 3-point shooting for a 129-104 runaway victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.
"I thought we played with a great spirit," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "Our mindset was right where it needs to be. It's defending and passing the ball. It was a simple game plan but they did it with great effort, great passion. Now we just need to keep doing it."
Markieff Morris matched his season high with 23 points while making four 3-pointers. Frazier had a season-high 14 assists.
"I think everybody just picked up the slack for John Wall not playing," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
Wall, selected to his fifth All-Star team as a reserve Tuesday, was held out due to a recurrence of soreness and swelling in his left knee. He missed nine games earlier in the season with soreness in the knee.
The Wizards, who had lost two straight and four of five, pulled away with a strong start to the second quarter and never trailed.
"No offense to Atlanta, but we're a lot better team than they are," Morris said. "They're a young team."
Mike Scott, who began his career in Atlanta, had 19 points. Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. each had 18 for Washington.
Washington made 18 3-pointers, matching its high mark for the season.
Taurean Prince, Tyler Dorsey and Dewayne Dedmon each had 14 points to lead Atlanta.
The Wizards pulled away with an 11-2 run to open the second quarter. Kelly Oubre Jr. opened the quarter with a powerful left-handed jam and free throw. Oubre, who had 15 points, capped the run with a 3-pointer for a 38-20 lead.
Washington's superior long-range shooting was decisive. While Atlanta made only 2 of its first 16 3-pointers, the Wizards made 10 of 17 in the first half and led 61-45 at the break. Morris made each of his three 3s in the half and four of five for the game.
Satoransky, making his first start of the season, sank a 3-pointer for the first points of the game. He had 11 points.
Wizards: Brooks said the knee has bothered Wall the last two games. Brooks said Wall, who was with the team, wanted to play against the Hawks. ... Ian Mahinmi and Atlanta's John Collins were called for fouls following a brief second-quarter collision and stare-down under the Hawks' basket. No technical foul was called. ... The Wizards, who made 18 of 32 3s, also made 18 3s against Houston on Dec. 29.
Hawks: Atlanta wore its alternate black and "volt" green City Edition uniforms. Schroder wore matching fluorescent green shoes. ... The Hawks have lost three straight as they continue to hold the NBA's worst record. ... Ersan Ilyasova had 12 points.
It was only the latest display of poor offense for the Hawks. Coach Mike Budenholzer said before the game he'd like to see more up-tempo possessions led by Dennis Schroder.
"I would love more pace but this might be who we are," Budenholzer said.
Brooks said Wall's toughness in playing with the sore knee the last two games is "pretty incredible." Brooks said before the game he'd never have been able to overcome such an injury in his 10-year career as a player with six NBA teams.
"I marvel at his toughness and his ability to play through it all," Brooks said. "I had to be completely healthy to get my four points and three assists and not have a bad meal on top of that and a good night's sleep and a bunch of good players around me."
Wizards: Host Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
Hawks: Host Timberwolves on Monday.