WASHINGTON -- The Hawks had the comeback. Then, John Wall and the Wizards came alive.
The Atlanta Hawks dropped their opening playoff game against the Washington Wizards 114-107 at the Verizon Center on Sunday.
The Wizards went on a 20-7 run in the opening half of the third quarter to take a double-digit lead for a second time after surrending their first lead. John Wall scored 15 of Washington's 38 third quarter points by making threes, driving to the basket, forcing some of Atlanta's 19 total turnovers and dunking in the fast break.
The Hawks kept attacking, drawing fouls and making nearly every free throw to keep the game within reach. Tim Hardaway Jr. dunked at the end of the third quarter to cap a quick run. But the Hawks couldn't overcome the deficit like they had earlier in the game. Taurean Prince, who made his first postseason start, made a three to cut the Wizards' lead to five with 1:46 left. He had 14.
After falling behind by 10 early, the Hawks went on a 17-2 run in final three minutes of the first quarter. The benched sparked a quick comeback and started attacking the basket drawing a plethora of fouls. The Hawks made 19-of-22 free throws in the first half. They finished 32-of-39 at the line.
But the Hawks couldn't pull away because of poor shooting from the floor, missed threes and, again, turnovers. The Wizards defense had eight steals and eight blocks. Morris had three blocks in the game. Wall had a big block against Dennis Schroder in the first half.
Millsap was called for a foul with .1 left in the first half in the first half while contesting Markieff Morris's three. Morris made all three free throws, cutting the Hawks lead to three at halftime. The two exchanged a few words, reportedly on Morris' foot being on the free throw line.
Millsap: "Happy Easter." Morris: "Happy Easter to you too." pic.twitter.com/HKxx8Bjc73— KL Chouinard (@KLChouinard) April 16, 2017
The momentum shift was apparent at the start of the second half as the Wizards went on their run to start the second half.
The Hawks shot 43 percent from the floor and were 7-of-25 outside the arc. Schroder had a team-high 25 points, and Millsap finished with 19. Dwight Howard didn't get that many touches in the paint, and finished with just seven points. He had 14 total rebounds. The bench had 31 points.
Wall finished with 32 points and 14 assists, and Morris had 21. After a quiet first half, Bradley Beal finished with 22.
The last time these two teams met in the playoffs, the Hawks lost Game 1 in Atlanta. The Hawks were able to close out the series with three straight wins to win the series in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2015.
Game 2 of the series is at Washington on Wednesday.
PHOTOS | Atlanta Hawks
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