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National Basketball Association
Preview
Atlanta at Washington
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, May 15, 2015
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

John Wall and the Washington Wizards have no margin for error as they look to rebound from a demoralizing loss when they face the visiting Atlanta Hawks in Friday’s Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Washington led by 11 points midway through the fourth quarter on Wednesday before collapsing as Atlanta rallied for an 82-81 victory to take a 3-2 series lead.

The Hawks won the contest on Al Horford’s putback with 1.9 seconds left, and it capped a strong game from the standout center. Horford delivered 23 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots to become the first player in franchise to history to have 20 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in a playoff contest. Wall returned to action after missing three games with a broken left wrist and hand, and his presence energized the attack. “I didn’t have any problems with my hand,” Wall told reporters. “I was able to play aggressive and make plays so I was fine.”

TV:
7 p.m. ET, ESPN

ABOUT THE HAWKS: Horford has four double-doubles in the series and his stellar effort was capped by the key rebound, for which he slyly worked his way into position and then overpowered Washington’s Nene to get the board and lay it in the basket. It is the type of clutch play the Hawks expect from the three-time All-Star and it leaves Atlanta one win away from claiming the series. “He’s always calm and collect; thoughtful, yet intense,” shooting guard Kyle Korver told reporters. “Obviously on the basketball court, he is a steadying force and he’s a consistent player. This was obviously a big moment for him.”

ABOUT THE WIZARDS: Forward Paul Pierce scored a series-low 11 points, but that didn’t keep him from popping off at the Atlanta bench and reportedly insisting the series was over when he made a 3-pointer to put Washington ahead with 8.3 seconds remaining. Now he’ll be hoping for another trip down south as the Wizards first need to tie the series at home before having a chance to win it. “I think the sting of this game is going to motivate us for Game 6,” Pierce told reporters. “We’re going to go back home with aspirations of winning and making another trip to Atlanta.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Hawks have never reached the conference finals since relocation from St. Louis in 1968.

2. Washington SG Bradley Beal has four 20-point outings in the series while averaging 24.4 points.

3. Korver had just three points in Game 5 and is shooting 35 percent from the field in the series.

PREDICTION: Wizards 107, Hawks 103
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Atlanta 67-26 W2 40-7 27-19 5-6 62-20 15-6 45-18
Washington 52-39 L2 32-13 20-26 5-6 47-33 12-9 36-25
Last Meeting
Atlanta Washington
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
5/13/15 WAS 81 ATL 82 82 50 41.0 81 46 37.5
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Atlanta A. Horford 23 55.6 2
Washington B. Beal 23 42.9 4
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Atlanta A. Horford 11 6 5
Washington O. Porter 10 5 5
Assists Player  
Atlanta D. Schroder 7
Washington J. Wall 7
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Atlanta P. Millsap 1464 46.7 315
Washington J. Wall 1574 43.9 338
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Atlanta P. Millsap 695 176 519
Washington M. Gortat 864 218 646
Assists Player  
Atlanta J. Teague 620
Washington J. Wall 886
Quickchart Matchup
Atlanta Off vs  Washington Defense
102.3 Points For
97.8 Points Against
46.2 FG%
43.2 FG%
41.1 Reb
41.7 Reb
Washington Off vs  Atlanta Defense
98.9 Points For
97.0 Points Against
46.1 FG%
43.8 FG%
41.7 Reb
43.8 Reb