Hawks Wizards Basketball

Washington Wizards’ Paul Pierce gets off the game winning shot between Atlanta Hawks defenders Kyle Korver (26) and Kent Bazemore (24) as time expires in the second half of Game 3 of the second round of the NBA basketball playoffs Saturday, May 9, 2015, in Washington. The Wizards won 103-101. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Veteran forward Paul Pierce scored 13 points, including the game-winning jumper to lead the Washington Wizards to a tight 103-101 win over the No. 1 seed Atlanta Hawks in Game Three of the NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals on May 9 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The win pushed the Wizards to a 2-1 lead over the Hawks in the best-of-seven series.

The Wizards took the lead early on and maintained it throughout much of the game. They even ballooned it up to 21 points at one point in the second half and appeared to be cruising to an easy victory. But Atlanta made a strong push in the fourth quarter and was able to tie the score at 101 with 14 seconds left. That’s where former Finals MVP Paul Pierce saved the day for Washington with a 21-foot jumper to win the game.

The Wizards also got a strong effort out of veteran forward Nenê, who had struggled throughout the series, failing to make a single shot from the field during the first two games. Nenê redeemed himself with a solid performance Saturday night, scoring 17 points with seven rebounds. Guard Brad Beal and forward Otto Porter matched Nenê with 17 points scored each. Beal also had a team-high eight assists, and Porter led the way with nine rebounds.

Guards Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder both scored 18 points for Atlanta.

Next: Washington will host Game Four of the series on May 11. Tip off set for 8 p.m.