Beal, Wall lead strong finish to help Wizards overcome slow start against slumping Hawks
John Wall lifts off for the slam. AP

BRADLEY Beal sparked a late surge that helped the Washington Wizards overcome a slow start and hold off the Atlanta Hawks, 104-100, at the Verizon Center on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).

Washington looked sluggish early, falling to a 20-8 deficit to start the game. But Beal had seven points, including a jumper that capped a Wizards’ 24-8 run late in the fourth to take a 96-84 lead.

The Hawks, though, countered with a 12-3 rally to cut the gap to three, 99-96, with a little over a minute to play. But John Wall hit a big shot on the next play, forced a turnover then knocked down enough free throws to seal the win and snap the Wizards out of a two-game skid.

Beal finished with 28 points , including four triples, while Wall had a double-double of 22 markers and 10 assists to go with four steals for the Wizards (43-28), who hold a full game lead over the Toronto Raptors for the third seed in the East.

Tim Hardaway Jr. led all scorers with 29 points for the slumping Hawks (37-34), who have lost five straight. Dennis Schroder added 18 markers, while Dwight Howard had a double-double of 14 points and 16 rebounds. 

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