Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) works against Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris (5) in the first half in Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Monday, April 24, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Atlanta Hawks ahead Paul Millsap (four) works towards Washington Wizards ahead Markieff Morris (5) within the first half in Game four of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Monday, April 24, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA — Paul Millsap bounced again from a sluggish begin to rating 19 factors, Dwight Howard had his finest recreation of the postseason and the Atlanta Hawks pulled away from the Washington Wizards 111-101 Monday night time to even the opening-round playoff series at 2-all.

Howard, who was a non-factor via the primary three video games, had a double-double by halftime and completed with 16 factors and 15 rebounds.

The Hawks acquired double-figure scoring from seven gamers, together with big contributions off the bench from Kent Bazemore and Jose Calderon.

Bradley Beal scored 32 factors, bouncing again from a dismal efficiency in Game Three, and John Wall had one other stellar efficiency with 22 factors and 10 assists.

But these two, pretty much as good as they have been, couldn’t match a extra balanced strategy by the Hawks.

Now, a series marked by ailing emotions that went as far as Markieff Morris calling Millsap “a crybaby” is right down to a best-of-three. Game 5 is Wednesday night time in Washington.

Bazemore scored 16 factors and doled out seven assists, whereas the 35-year-old Calderon, picked up on waivers late within the common season, chipped in with 10 factors and 5 assists.

Calderon got here up with an enormous play because the Hawks started to stretch their lead. Leading a quick break after a Wizards turnover, he handed off to Tim Hardaway Jr. on the wing for a drive to the ring.

Hardaway’s shot spun out, however the 6-foot-Three Calderon tipped it in for an 89-81 lead. The Spaniard pumped his fist and took off again the opposite manner, screaming in delight.

Millsap and Dennis Schroder stretched the margin on back-to-back possessions.

Millsap grabbed an offensive rebound and managed to get the shot off whereas falling on his bottom. The ball dropped in and he added the free throw for a Three-point play. Schroder adopted with a Three-pointer, giving the Hawks a 103-93 lead with 4½ minutes to go.

Schroder ended up with 18 factors after going scoreless within the first half, spending most of it on the bench after choosing up three fast fouls.

The Wizards prevented the dismal begin that primarily ruined their hopes in Game Three earlier than the primary quarter was achieved.

With Beal lastly flattening some jumpers, Washington shot practically 58 p.c within the opening interval and constructed a 35-28 lead.

Schroder’s foul troubles put the burden on Calderon, who responded brilliantly. Of course, it helped that Howard lastly made an look within the series.

Having taken solely 15 pictures and scored 18 factors within the first three video games, he carried the load with Millsap struggling within the first half and Schroder watching from the bench. The enigmatic heart had thunderous dunks on back-to-back possessions that actually acquired the house crowd into the sport.

Bazemore additionally performed an enormous function within the first-half turnaround, scoring 10 factors to go together with 5 assists and even enjoying the purpose for a few minutes to provide Calderon a relaxation.


Wizards: Otto Porter Jr. was in a position to play after leaving Game Three with a strained neck. He scored 13 factors. … Bojan Bogdanovic was the one different Washington participant in double figures, additionally with 13 factors. … Kelly Oubre Jr. picked up three fouls in 5 minutes throughout the first half. … Marcin Gortat had 18 rebounds.

Hawks: Howard has scored at the least 10 factors in 80 profession playoff video games. … The Hawks averaged 62 factors within the first half of the 2 video games at Philips Arena. … With 11 factors, Taurean Prince turned the primary Hawks rookie to achieve double-figures in his first 4 playoff video games since Pete Maravich did it in 5 straight in 1971. … Among these within the crowd: Hall of Famer Julius Erving, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and at the least three members of the Atlanta Falcons: Devonta Freeman, Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel.

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