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Wizards close out the Hawks, face tougher test in the Celtics

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Wizards close out the Hawks, face tougher test in the Celtics

Wizards eliminate Hawks in 6 (2:43)

John Wall and Bradley Beal combine for 73 points as the Wizards hold on to top the Hawks 115-99. (2:43)

When it came time for the Washington Wizards to finish the Atlanta Hawks, John Wall and Bradley Beal made sure to put their stamp on the game. The duo combined to score 73 points, the most they have combined for in a single game, regular or postseason, to defeat the Hawks 115-99.

John Wall dominated the fourth quarter. His 19 points were a career high for a playoff game and the second most by a Wizards player in the 4th quarter over the last 20 seasons, behind Gilbert Arenas (20 points against the Cavaliers in 2006).

Wall scored or assisted on 23 of the Wizards’ 26 points in the fourth quarter. After his block on a Dennis Schroder layup attempt that could’ve cut it to a one-point game at the 8:47 mark, the only point that Wall didn’t account for was a Beal free throw.

The Celtics and Wizards franchises haven’t met in the playoffs since the first round of the 1984 playoffs, with the Celtics winning that series 3-1. The Celtics won the 1982 first round series 3-2, and the then-Bullets won the only best-of-seven series between the franchises in the 1975 Eastern Conference finals, 4-2.

The matchup features two of the most dynamic point guards in the Eastern Conference, and Isaiah Thomas had the upper hand in their four regular-season meetings.

The Wizards have allowed 46 points per game in the paint this postseason, which ranks as the third most among playoff teams. They will need to keep Thomas out of the paint, where he does the majority of his damage.

Thomas has the third-most drives (75) in the playoffs, behind Wall (83) and James Harden (100). He is also shooting 63 percent on attempts within five feet in the postseason (38 percent of his attempts), but just 30.4 percent from six feet and further (62 percent of his attempts).

Wizards close out the Hawks, face tougher test in the Celtics

Source: http://www.espn.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/131535/wizards-close-out-the-hawks-face-tougher-test-in-the-celtics

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