National Basketball Association
Atlanta at Washington
When: 6:00 PM ET, Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia
The Atlanta Hawks did what they were supposed to do by winning at home, but the Washington Wizards can win on their floor as well and remain in control. The Wizards will try to hang onto homecourt advantage and take the series lead when they host the Hawks in Game 5 on Wednesday.
Washington controlled the first two games at home but it was a different story in Atlanta, with the Hawks emerging as the more aggressive team and rolling to a pair of wins by an average of 14 points. "I think we know how to beat this team," Atlanta star forward Paul Millsap, who is averaging 23.5 points and 8.8 rebounds in the series, told reporters. "It’s up to us to get out there and continue to play the way we’ve been playing. If we can carry this over to Washington, we’ll be fine." The Wizards are searching for answers after getting beaten on the interior and relying too heavily on guards John Wall and Bradley Beal for offense. "Basically, what I see is two very good basketball teams, evenly matched, fighting for their playoff lives," Washington coach Scott Brooks told reporters. "We’re the fourth and fifth seed. The series is tied. It’s basically the first to two now."
6 p.m. ET, TNT, FSN Southeast (Atlanta), CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington)ABOUT THE HAWKS:
Atlanta's strength on the interior in Game 4 came from center Dwight Howard, who failed to score more than seven points in any of the first three games before exploding for 16 points and 15 rebounds in Game 4. "Obviously, it was his best game," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters of Howard. "We needed that extra boost. He certainly brought it. I thought his defense, his activity on the boards, his second- and third-efforts getting rebounds. We need more of that every night, every possession. When he’s like that, I think it can help carry his teammates and move us forward." Howard was one of seven Atlanta players to score in double figures in Game 4.
ABOUT THE WIZARDS:
Washington was outscored in the paint by a combined 104-64 in Games 3 and 4, and interior defense will be a focus moving forward. "They got too many layups, too many easy points around the paint," Brooks told reporters after Game 4. "Howard did, definitely ... hopefully we can counter that with some good positioning so he doesn’t get the lobs and the easy points around the paint. And if so we can wrap him up, put him on the free-throw line. But other than that, we have to keep them out of the paint as much as we can." Wizards center Marcin Gortat grabbed 18 rebounds in Game 4 but managed just two points.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Wizards PF Markieff Morris is averaging seven points on 8-of-27 shooting in the last three games.
2. Atlanta rookie SF Taurean Prince is averaging 13.3 points on 63.9 percent shooting in the series after posting 5.7 points on 40 percent shooting in the regular season.
3. Wall is averaging 28.8 points and 10 assists in the series.PREDICTION:
Wizards 116, Hawks 111
Stats and Records