The Atlanta Hawks tied their first round playoff series with the Washington Wizards at 2-2 on Monday night after they emerged triumphant in game four, winning 111-101.

Atlanta came into the game looking to repeat the success they had in Saturday night’s 18 point blowout. There would have been immense pressure on the Hawks had they lost Game 4, and had to go back to D.C. in a 3-1 hole.

The Wizards were looking to bounce back from their lackadaisical effort in Game 3, and steal a win in Atlanta.

The Hawks had some troubles early in the game, with Dennis Schröder picking up three quick fouls as they were left to chase a nine-point deficit late in the first. John Wall and Bradley Beal got off to quick starts with a combined 17 points in the opening quarter.

The second quarter was a completely different story. Without Schröder, the Hawks were able to outscore the Wizards 15-31. Dwight Howard had a humongous impact in the first half, and dominated Washington’s front line with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Kent Bazemore came off of the bench and chipped in with a solid ten points at the half, linking with Howard in the pick-and-roll to terrify their opponents.

The second half saw Washington claw their way back and get the game all squared up at 77-77 after the third. Beal had twelve crucial points in the period, making up for his disappointing effort in Game 3.

The fourth quarter was dominated by Paul Millsap, who added nine crucial points in the final period to help the Hawks even up the series. Millsap’s energy and hustle was enough to put Atlanta over the hump and grab a much needed win.

Takeaways for Atlanta: Atlanta’s frontcourt dominated Washington’s yet again, outscoring their opponents 46 to 24. Millsap was able to get Markieff Morris in early foul trouble, just like he did in the previous two games. Atlanta gave Howard some early touches, and it made him energetic and active the whole game, something they must consider repeating in order to keep him engaged on both ends at all times.

Takeaways for Washington: Beal was able to find a rhythm on Monday night after a horrible 6-of-20 shooting performance a few days prior. Finding his stroke, even in a tough loss, is crucial for the the upcoming games. The backcourt was able to dominate with a combined 54 points and 12 assists.

Morris must find a way to get his confidence back. Ever since his excellent Game 1, he’s had a tough time in this series, with foul trouble and poor shooting from the field putting him in an awful slump. Morris is the engine that propels Washington forward. They need him to find his form, and produce for his team in Game 5.

Player of the Game: Paul Millsap (19 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists)

Honorable Mention: Bradley Beal (32 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals)

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