NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at Washington
(Saturday, April 10th)
Final Score: Atlanta 105, Washington 95
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Jamal Crawford scored a team-high 28 points off the bench, as the Atlanta Hawks found success on the road with a 105-95 victory over the Washington Wizards.
Joe Johnson added 20 points for the Hawks, who had dropped six consecutive road contests. But coming off Friday's home win over Toronto, the Hawks used a fourth-quarter run to take control and facilitate the victory, which improved their playoff standing.
Atlanta entered the contest holding the third spot in the Eastern Conference, a game ahead of Boston. The Celtics beat Milwaukee later Saturday to maintain the distance with two games to play, though the Hawks hold the tiebreaker over Boston by virtue of sweeping the season series.
Andray Blatche had 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists to lead the Wizards, who were coming off Friday's win at Boston. Nick Young added 23 points, 19 of which came in the first half.
"It doesn't mean anything unless we get a win," Blatche said. "Nobody wants to stick around the whole game and then lose, and then say, 'Hey, we were around.' You want to win."
The contest was close the entire way, as the lead changed hands 15 times and hovered around one or two possessions. It was tied just over two minutes into the fourth quarter before Atlanta went on the game's first sustained run, an 11-0 burst.
Crawford opened it with a three, and after a Young turnover, Al Horford sank two free throws. A Blatche miss and turnover on the Wizards' next touch gave the ball back to the Hawks, and after Maurice Evans air-balled a three, he sank a jumper for a 90-83 margin -- then Atlanta's largest lead of the game.
Another Wizards miss led to a Johnson jumper from the foul line, and he drove for a layup on Atlanta's next possession to make it 94-83 with 5:56 left.
The whole run lasted a little under four minutes but essentially decided the game. While Washington regained some of its scoring touch, the Hawks kept making shots. With 2:42 left, Crawford had a four-point play for a 103-90 edge, allowing Atlanta to hold on for the victory.
"There's always a moment of truth in a game, where one team's going to step up and take control of the game," Crawford said. "So if we can do that a little bit earlier and not put ourselves in tight situations toward the end, I think that would help us."
A back-and-forth first quarter ended with a Young three-pointer that evened the game at 30. Young had 12 points in the opening frame.
Both teams shot well in the first half: Washington made 55 percent of its shots, and Atlanta sank 53.7 percent. Neither team led by more than six, and Horford's dunk in the final minute put the Hawks up 52-50 at the break.
Washington used a nine-point run early in the third to gain a 59-54 edge, and played in front for most of the quarter. However, Crawford ended the frame with a three and a jumper to make it a 78-78 contest moving to the fourth.
Atlanta has won nine in a row against the Wizards and swept the four-game season series for the second straight year...Josh Smith had 10 points and eight assists for the Hawks, while Horford finished with 10 boards and eight points...Mike Miller had 16 points for the Wizards, while Shaun Livingston added 15 points and seven assists.
04/11 00:23:46 ET