Wall, Wizards top Hawks
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - John Wall scored 26 points and added 12 assists with just three turnovers in leading the Washington Wizards past the Southeast Division-rival Atlanta Hawks, 108-101, on Saturday.
Nene also recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds while Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster each made five 3-pointers for 24 and 19-point efforts, respectively, in the Wizards' fourth straight home victory.
"We're showing growth. We're showing maturity. I feel we're ready to take the next step and become a playoff team," Ariza said.
All five Atlanta starters scored in double digits, led by Paul Millsap's 23 points, but the Hawks never got over the hump after falling behind early.
Atlanta rallied from 17 down to beat the Mavericks on Friday and faced an 18- point deficit Saturday before putting another rally together.
Trailing 66-48 early in the third quarter, the Hawks scored 11 straight points to pull back within single digits. A 9-2 run to start the final frame cut the deficit to 81-79, but that's as close as the visitors got.
Nene's free throw and putback gave the Wizards a 95-88 lead with under three minutes to play, and even though Millsap made two 3-pointers down the stretch, Washington made enough free throws to close out the win.
"I want to see how good we can be, but if you look at the conference, a lot of teams are kind of in the middle right now. We're trying to find ourselves as a team, trying to put it together. Hopefully we can get it going. I think we will," Atlanta center Al Horford said.
The Wizards scored seven of the final nine points in the first quarter for a 28-20 lead and stayed in front the rest of the way.
They led, 54-44, at halftime and pushed the margin to 66-48 with a 10-2 run in the early stages of the third, with a Wall-to-Nene alley-oop highlighting the surge.
The Wizards lost to the Pacers on Friday but have won all four games they have played on the second night of a back-to-back this season ... Atlanta sharpshooter Kyle Korver sat out because of bruised ribs. Korver is just shy of matching Dana Barros' NBA record for most consecutive games with a made 3- pointer ... Hawks point guard Jeff Teague was battling a rib contusion and shot just 5-of-18 from the field for 15 points ... Washington was only 2-18 in the previous 20 encounters with its division rival.
12/01 03:31:13 ET