Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) shoots against the Atlanta Hawks in the second half of game two of the second-round NBA playoff series basketball game Tuesday, May 5, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Forward Paul Milsap scored 18 points with 11 rebounds to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a win over the Washington Wizards in Game Two of the Eastern Conference semifinals on May 5 in Atlanta, Ga. The Hawks tied the best-of-seven series at 1-1.
After losing Game One, Atlanta was desperate to avoid falling behind, 2-0, in the series, especially with Games Three and Four to be played in D.C. But they caught a break as the Wizards were forced to play without its star point guard, John Wall, who was sidelined with a wrist injury. The Hawks took full advantage, neutralizing Washington’s Wall-less offense down the stretch to pull away with the win.
Washington Wizards guard Ramon Sessions (7) shoots against the Atlanta Hawks in the first half of game two of the second-round NBA playoff series basketball game Tuesday, May 5, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Washington’s backup point guard, Ramon Sessions, did his best to make up for the void left by the injured Wall; Sessions led the Wizards with a team-high 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field, and gave the team a offensive boost that helped Washington momentarily in the fourth quarter. But the reverse guard lacks the same leadership and elite playmaking/distributor skills that Wall has, and the Wizards eventually fell apart offensively during crunch time late in the game.
Atlanta Hawks defenders, from left, Kyle Korver, Al Horford, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap strip the ball for a steal from Wizards Bradley Beal (3) during the final minutes of the basketball game during the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, in Atlanta. The Hawks beat the Wizards 106-90 to even the series 1-1. ( Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Atlanta, on the other hand, redeemed its self after struggling to shoot during the second half of Game One on Sunday. This time the Hawks were on fire shooting as eight different players scored at least eight points on the team. Center Al Horford matched Milsap’s 18 points and forward DeMarre Carroll led the way with a team-high 22 points.
Wizards guard Brad Beal had 20 points with seven rebounds; forwards Paul Pierce and Otto Porter each scored 15 points. Veteran big man Nene continued to struggle, failing to make a shot from the field in the series.
Next – Washington will host Game Three of the series on May 9 at the Verizon Center in D.C. Tip off is set for 5 p.m. Eastern.