Another playoff game away from the capital, another win for the Washington Wizards.
The road warriors went into Philips Arena and opened their second round series against the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks with a 104-98 triumph last night.
Washington became the first team in the playoffs to win five straight after sweeping Toronto in round one and have now taken four consecutive series openers on the road.
Atlanta, who were 35-6 at home during the regular season, came out on fire with 37 points in the first quarter, but were shut down in the second half to the tune of 35 points.
The Hawks shot just 25.0 per cent in the second half – their worst shooting half of the year.
Wizards become the 1st team ever to win the opening game of a series on the road for 4 consecutive series. pic.twitter.com/F4SzmPYBxR
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 3, 2015
They were at their worst in the fourth quarter, when they made just 5-of-28 and missed a number of second-chance opportunities.
Washington’s backcourt was the focal point as point guard John Wall finished with 18 points, 13 assists and seven steals, while Bradley Beal scored a game-high 28 points.
Beal suffered a sprained right ankle in the fourth quarter when he landed on the foot of Atlanta centre Al Horford, but returned later on.
All five Hawks’ starters scored in double figures, but the bench contributed just 18 points – compared to 27 for the Wizards.
Game 2 will be on Tuesday night (UAE time: +04:00) as the Hawks look to avoid a deadly 2-0 hole before heading to the capital.
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