The well-rested Washington Wizards shook off injury scares for Bradley Beal and John Wall on Sunday to shock the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks in game one of their NBA second-round playoff series.
Beal battled through a right ankle sprain to score 28 points and Wall shrugged off a left wrist injury to add 18 as the Wizards downed the Hawks 104-98 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference set.
Wall also handed out 13 assists and three blocks for the Wizards, who had been off for a week after sweeping the Toronto Raptors in four games in the first round.
The Hawks, meanwhile, had needed six games to get past upstarts Brooklyn, finally finishing off the nets with a 111-87 romp on Friday night.
Trailing 83-81, the Wizards scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter.
Beal tallied four points in the burst before coming down on Atlanta star Al Horford’s foot and twisting his ankle.
He departed for the locker room but returned after treatment.
Wall had sprained his left wrist late in the first half on a fall under the basket.
Kyle Korver’s three-pointer and Jeff Teague’s layup had the Hawks within 91-90 later in the fourth, but the Wizards responded with a 7-1 scoring run that made it 98-91 with 3:17 remaining.
Once again Atlanta narrowed the gap, Paul Millsap’s three-point play and a dunk making it 98-96.
But Otto Porter and Marcin Gortat both scored for the Wizards as Korver missed a three pointer and Washington put the game away.
“Last year, we were just happy to be in the playoffs, we were happy to move on, and we didn’t really have any high goals after the first round,” Beal said. “But this year we expect more of ourselves, we expect to get past the second round, we have that same desperation we had in the previous round.”
– Warriors cruise –
There were no surprises as Western Conference second-round play got under way in Oakland, where the top-seeded Warriors routed the Memphis Grizzlies 101-86 in game one of their series.
Stephen Curry scored 22 points with seven assists and four steals for the Warriors, who haven’t lost in front of their rowdy home fans since late January.
The Warriors hadn’t played since completing a four-game first-round sweep of the New Orleans Pelicans last weekend.
But they showed no sign of rust.
A three-pointer from the Grizzlies’ Courtney Lee put the visitors ahead 21 seconds into the game — but that was the only time Golden State trailed.
“A little tricky because of all the time off, but the effort and intensity was where we needed it,” said Golden State coach Steve Kerr, whose team host game two on Tuesday.
The Grizzlies played without guard Mike Conley, who is recovering from a facial fracture.
He traveled with the team and watched from the bench, his left eye still swollen from the injury he suffered in game three of the Grizzlies’ five-game first-round series win over Portland.
The Warriors led by as many as 16 in the first half — when they connected on 24 of 39 shots from the field.
They were up by nine at halftime and stretched the lead to 16 early in the third quarter. – Agence France-Presse