Wall held out as Wizards overwhelm Hawks
ATLANTA — 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 (Sunday Manila time).
“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.
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