The Washington Wizards won a highly intense Game 5 at the Verizon Center to take a 3-2 series lead against the Atlanta Hawks.

The first quarter saw Bradley Beal come out of the gate firing with 11 points. Dennis Shröder started the game scorching hot, going 3/3 from three in the opening period. Washington’s frontcourt struggled to keep Atlanta off the offensive boards early, as the hosts gave up five.

The second quarter saw Bojan Bogdonavic step up after struggling for a majority of the series. He had eight points in the quarter and gave the Wizards the bench production they have been lacking in previous games.

Washington started the second half off strong led by Otto Porter who had eight quick points. The Wizards built up an 11-point lead midway into the third quarter.

The Hawks immediately came back with a quick 11-0 run of their own led by Tim Hardaway Jr. Despite the run, Washington entered the fourth quarter commanding a four-point lead.

The final period was tightly contested and was filled with exciting plays all the way through by both ball clubs.

Despite a late Atlanta flurry, Washington was able to hold on and secure a 103-99 victory.

Takeaways for Washington

For the first time in this series, Washington went to the free-throw line more than Atlanta did. Washington must make a concerted effort to attack the basket, and get Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap in foul trouble like they did in this game.

Frontcourt production was still problematic for Washington in this game. Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat combined for only thirteen points and thirty-three percent shooting from the field. Scott Brooks must find a way for Morris and Gortat to get some easy shots and gain some confidence.

Washington’s bench outscored Atlanta’s bench 26-19. The Hawks second unit has struggled to make an impact all series, and this will be pivotal for Washington’s success moving forward.

Takeaways for Atlanta

Despite the outstanding play of Millsap during the series, he is not the barometer for Atlanta’s success, Dwight Howard is. In the games he’s played well, Atlanta has dominated. Howard was not involved in the offense in this game, and that saw his energy level decrease. He got into foul trouble and was not able to be utilized late in the game. Atlanta must get the center some early touches in Game 6 to keep his energy level high.

Atlanta’s bench struggled mightily, highlighted by Kent Bazemore’s 3-of-12 night from the field. Their second unit must play well in order to stand a chance for the remainder of this series.

Player of the Game: John Wall (20 points, 14 assists)

Honorable Mention: Dennis Shröder (29 points, 11 assists)

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