The Atlanta Hawks took on the Washington Wizards in the first of another two-game set on the road on Wednesday evening in a hard-fought game that went down to the wire. The Hawks were able to secure an important victory in this one, pulling out a 122-120 win in what turned out to be a back-and-forth game.
The Hawks came out hot offensively, looking like the more rested team on their way to a 34-28 lead across the first 12 minutes. In what was a theme for the night, Trae Young (12 points) and Kristaps Porzingis (10 points) carried their teams offensively in the opening quarter.
Washington battled back with a strong second quarter however while the Hawks scuffled offensively, seeing their lead disappear by the end of the quarter. The Wizards led 61-58 at the break behind another stellar quarter from Porzingis, who had 22 points at the half.
Atlanta held their ground in the third quarter before finally battling back and retaking the lead in the fourth. The fourth was a back-and-forth quarter, but the Hawks were able to close out the win behind strong finishes from Young and De’Andre Hunter.
Young finished with 28 points, ten assists and three steals in the win as his defensive effort continues to be improved. The Hawks had seven players score in double-digits in total including all five starters. Dejounte Murray had 17 points and six assists including some key plays on both ends down the stretch despite struggling from the field for much of the night.
Jalen Johnson continued to get more action as he contributed with ten points and four rebounds while providing a much-needed defensive presence on the second unit.
Porzingis exploded for 43 points in the loss, while Kyle Kuzma (25 points, ten rebounds and six assists) and Bradley Beal (24 points and eight assists) also played solid games in defeat for Washington.
The Hawks will take on the Wizards again from DC on Friday evening and look to further separate themselves in the standings.