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Atlanta at Washington

Wizards beat Hawks, move closer to postseason berth

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- John Wall scored 25 points, Drew Gooden had 16, and the Washington Wizards inched closer to their first playoff spot since 2008 with a 101-97 win over the free-falling Atlanta Hawks.

Washington entered the game needing a win and a loss by the New York Knicks on Sunday to make the playoffs. The Wizards are sixth in the Eastern Conference.

Wall scored 13 points in the last 7:16 of the third quarter and the Wizards finally escaped the pesky Hawks, who have lost six straight and 20 of 26.

Jeff Teague scored 19 points and Paul Millsap 17 for Atlanta.

Washington led 99-89 with 2:38 to play, but the Hawks scored eight straight including three free throws by Lou Williams and a three-point play by Teague with 39.8 to play. Teague's three points came immediately after Wall missed two foul shots.

With the Wizards leading 99-97, Marcin Gortat blocked Teague's shot with 11.1 seconds left. Gooden was fouled by Teague and hit two free throws to secure the win.

Washington followed up a 13-point win over Eastern Conference leader Indiana on Friday with a win over the Hawks, who lead the Knicks by 1 games for the final playoff berth in the East.

The Wizards' postseason position wasn't an issue for coach Randy Wittman.

"If we play the way we're capable of playing, we don't have to worry about any of those things," Wittman said.

Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer, whose team played well despite missing three of its five leading scorers, had a similar mindset.

"I think every game our group has shown flashes and been good," Budenholzer said. "When we play with really good energy and we compete, you can see where we can have the results we're looking for."

The Hawks started hot, hitting seven of their first eight shots and running off to a 21-11 advantage, but Washington got eight late points from Gooden, outscoring the Hawks 16-7 in the last 4:31 to lead 28-27 after one.

Thanks to nine points in the last five minutes by Pero Antic, Atlanta led 52-50 at halftime.

Wall's third-quarter offensive display gave the Wizards a 75-71 lead after going into the fourth.

Notes

Washington F/C Nene, who has missed 17 games with a left knee sprain is progressing, though Wittman isn't guessing when he may return. "He's going on the floor a little bit, on his own, just kind of getting on his legs a little bit," Wittman said. "Where that takes us I don't know. He's going in a good direction.". Atlanta was without G/F Kyle Korver (back spasms) and G DeMarre Carroll (stomach virus).. Wizards G Andre Miller was called for a flagrant foul on Hawks G Dennis Schroder in the fourth quarter, but Schroder missed both foul shots.

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John Wall scores 25 points and also contributes a big block against the Hawks as the Wizard make their playoffs push. (USATSI)
John Wall scores 25 points and also contributes a big block against the Hawks as the Wizard make their playoffs push. (USATSI)

Scoreboard
Atlanta (31-41)2725192697
Washington (38-35) «28222526101
ATL:J. Teague 19 Pts
ATL:P. Antic 12 Reb
ATL:S. Mack 6 Ast
WAS:J. Wall 25 Pts
WAS:M. Gortat 11 Reb
WAS:J. Wall 6 Ast
Players of the Game
AtlantaWashington

Pero Antic

John Wall
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
131212576
Atlanta
P. Millsap, PF405-135-845317
J. Teague, PG338-171-113319
S. Mack, PG302-60-06625
C. Martin, SF295-81-242313
P. Antic, C265-102-2121413
L. Williams, SG324-104-521112
M. Muscala, C221-60-08132
M. Scott, PF152-54-42018
D. Schroder, PG152-53-61128
E. Brand, PFDid Not Play
K. Korver, SGDid Not Play
A. Horford, CDid Not Play
D. Carroll, SFDid Not Play
G. Ayon, PFDid Not Play
J. Jenkins, SGDid Not Play
Totals 34-8020-2840202297
 42.5%71.4% 
Washington
B. Beal, SG375-154-465214
J. Wall, PG3610-202-676325
T. Ariza, SG344-64-450213
M. Gortat, PF336-110-2112212
T. Booker, PF160-40-05020
D. Gooden, PF295-55-781316
M. Webster, SG203-70-00026
A. Miller, PG194-42-213310
A. Harrington, PF152-70-01035
G. Temple, SG10-00-00000
Nene, CDid Not Play
C. Singleton, SFDid Not Play
K. Seraphin, CDid Not Play
O. Porter, SFDid Not Play
G. Rice, SGDid Not Play
Totals 39-7917-25441722101
 49.4%68.0% 
Other Games
Det 98 Final
Phi 123
LAC 118 Final
Hou 107
Sac 100 Final
Dal 103
Mia 88 Final
Mil 67
NO 80 Final
SA 96