Hunter, Young help Hawks hold off Wizards 117-114
WASHINGTON (AP) — De’Andre Hunter scored 26 points and Trae Young added 25 to help the Atlanta Hawks beat the Washington Wizards 117-114 on Friday night.
The Wizards never led, but they pulled to within one with 5.3 seconds left when Raul Neto made a 3-pointer. Young then made two free throws with 3.7 seconds left. The first three quarters of the game each ended with a buzzer-beater, but Kyle Kuzma’s attempt to tie it from midcourt hit the back of the rim, allowing Atlanta to hold on.
Hawks coach Nate McMillan said he didn’t want his team to foul in that situation, but he didn’t want Kuzma to end up so open either.
“He got a clear look at that basket, and that shouldn’t have happened,” McMillan said. “You really have to execute all 48 minutes of the game.”
Atlanta moved a half-game ahead of the Charlotte Hornets for ninth place in the Eastern Conference and 2 1/2 ahead of 11th-place Washington.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 28 points for the Wizards. They trailed by 14 in the second quarter but cut the deficit to one in the third when Kuzma’s layup made it 80-79.
Atlanta closed the quarter with a 13-5 run that included two 3-pointers and an 18-footer by Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Washington pulled back within two with 25.4 seconds left on a 3-pointer by Caldwell-Pope. Young then made two free throws to make it 115-111 with 12.3 seconds left.
Bogdanovic finished with 17 points, and Clint Capela had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Atlanta went on an 11-2 run to take a 68-54 lead late in the second quarter before the Wizards finished the half with five straight points.
Atlanta shot 28 of 34 on free throws while Washington was just 8 of 9. That disparity helped the Hawks win despite 54% shooting from the field by the Wizards.
“Just giving teams points,” Kuzma said. ”We’ve got to take it upon ourselves to do a better job of not fouling.”
Hawks forward John Collins (foot) returned after missing six consecutive games and scored nine points. He also had a key block late in the game.
“It was good,” Collins said. “Obviously, a little gassed at certain moments, trying to just get my wind back, but it was great to be back out there with the guys, good to get a win.”
AT THE BUZZER
Hawks: Atlanta had just four turnovers in the game while Washington had 14. The Hawks had an 11-2 advantage in points off turnovers.
Wizards: Washington is without star G Bradley Beal (wrist) and F/C Kristaps Porzingis (knee).
Hawks: At Detroit on Monday night.
Wizards: Host Indiana on Sunday night.
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