Story By : Richard Thomas
Photos By: Sol Tucker
With just 1.5 games separating the final playoff spot, the Wizards needed another strong victory, tonight they just couldn’t find a way to continue to top the 15 point victory over the Hawks at Phillips Arena just two nights ago.
Behind 23 points from reserve guard Dennis Schroder and a season-high 17 3-pointers, Atlanta did just that in beating Wizards 122-101 on Wednesday night in the second half of the teams’ home-and-home series. The Hawks were all too happy to snap the Wizards’ winning streak at five after the way Monday’s game went.
“It was a pride thing,” said Thabo Sefolosha, who helped hold John Wall to 13 points on 6-of-17 shooting. “We didn’t like the way we played, obviously. We let them play well. They played well in Atlanta. It was definitely good to come out tonight, win this game and kind of get a little bit of revenge.”
With the loss tonight for the Wizards along with the Detroit Pistons’ fourth consecutive victory, Washington fell 2 1/2 games back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East with 11 games to go. Turnovers were the Wizards’ undoing as they committed 13 in the second half.
“You can’t get outscored by 21 points off turnovers,” coach Randy Wittman said. “Everything we focused on and did in Atlanta, 50/50 balls they beat us to. They had more offensive rebounds in the first quarter alone than they did in the entire game in Atlanta. That was really the difference.”
Marcus Thornton led the Wizards with 23 points, including five 3s. But it was no match for Atlanta’s barrage from the outside.
Washington will need a super solid showing on Friday night against the Timberwolves or the next 9 games after that one may not mean much of anything for the Wizards.