Hawks vs. Wizards final score: Al Horford dominates as Atlanta wins 101-99 in overtime thriller

Kevin C. Cox

Al Horford scored 34 points, including the game winner, and grabbed 15 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Washington Wizards 101-99.

The Washington Wizards were short-handed on the evening, missing Nene and Bradley Beal, but they still fought valiantly and came up just short of knocking off the Atlanta Hawks at home. Al Horford carried the Hawks offensively all evening long adding 34 points on just 23 shots. Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver, and Jeff Teague also played well on the evening, but Horford was x-factor.

The Hawks came out of the gate rather lethargically as the Wizards jumped out to a quick 10-3 lead. Martell Webster of the Wizards led the charge early, but the Hawks energy picked up as Horford and Millsap finally started to get going.  The rest of the quarter saw a lot of back and forth action with neither team breaking it open early.

The second quarter was more of the same back and forth action. Georgia native Glenn Rice Jr. was hot early in the quarter hitting his first three shots. The Wizards second-unit pushed their lead to seven at point in the quarter, but Wittman may have left the unit in a tad too long as the lead quickly evaporated down to two before Wittman finally put his starters back in.

The Hawks finally broke things open in the third thanks in large part to some horrid shooting by the Wizards. Both the Wizards and the Hawks had a lot of good looks, but they simply weren't falling. The Hawks moved the ball incredibly well this quarter and it led to a lot of easy baskets. The Hawks led by 71-61 going into the fourth quarter.

The Wizards started off the fourth quarter with cold too, but it wouldn't last. Wall, Gortat and Booker finally found their stroke and went on a 16-2 run to get the Wizards back in it. The Wizards killed the Hawks on the glass grabbing 18 offensive boards, which especially hurt the Hawks late. The Hawks ran a play for Shelvin Mack on their last possession of regulation, which failed but Korver grabbed the offensive rebound and got it to Horford who got fouled and made both free throws to tie the game and ultimately send it to overtime.

Booker did everything he possibly could do in overtime to knock off the Hawks, but Teague and Horford came up big down the stretch that ended with a Horford lob to give the Hawks a 101-99 victory over the short-handed Wizards.

Should it have been this close? Probably not, but a win's a win and the Hawks needed it.

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