When the Washington Wizards host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday for the first game of a two-game series, they will have a chance to gain some ground in the race for the playoffs.
The Wizards, who beat the Detroit Cylinders 119-117 at the bell on Tuesday, are in tenth spot in the Eastern Meeting, the last spot in the play-in competition. The Hawks lose. 8 after their road loss to the Miami Heat on Monday, 130-128, and they are only one game ahead of Washington.
On February 28, Washington defeated Atlanta for the first time this season, winning 119-116 on the road. Before concluding the series on April 5 in Atlanta, the teams will meet once more on Thursday in the nation’s capital.
By defeating the Pistons, who were in the cellar, Washington ended a two-game losing streak. With one second left, Bradley Beal missed a driving shot, but Daniel Gafford was able to tip in the rebound for the winning points.
In the victory, Beal shot 14-for-21 from the field to score 32 points. This season, he has scored more than 30 points 11 times, including in consecutive games.
Beal, who scored 37 points in the previous game against Atlanta, had one steal against the Pistons. This gave him 763 career steals, more than Greg Ballard, who had the second-most in franchise history. With 976 thefts, John Wall holds Washington’s record.
After missing the first game against Atlanta because of soreness in his left knee, Kristaps Porzingis will be available for the Wizards on Wednesday. One of only three players in the league who is averaging 20 points, eight rebounds, and one block is Porzingis, who scored 24 points on Tuesday. Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers are the other two.
The Hawks have scored without issue. The most they have scored in 601 quarters against Miami was 43 points in the first quarter on Monday. In 2022-23, they had seven players score in the double digits for the sixth time.
The Hawks have scored at least 100 points in 40 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak in the NBA and tied for third in franchise history. The team has shot 49.3% from the field, 37.4% from 3-point range, and 81.8 percent from free throw range during that time period, averaging 119.7 points per game.
However, Atlanta’s success has not always matched its points, and the team is currently one game below.500.
Since Nate McMillan was fired as coach during the All-Star break, Atlanta has lost two games in a row and is now 3-3. Quin Snyder, the new coach, said that he cares more about the big picture than the immediate results.