WASHINGTON — The Atlanta Hawks came to play on Wednesday night, and the Washington Wizards needed an answer. His name was John Wall.
The All-Star point guard had a great supporting cast, but this was perhaps the best game of his career when it mattered most. He ended up tying his playoff career-high 32 points (9-of-20 shooting, 12-of-15 free throws), adding five rebounds and nine assists in 39 minutes on the floor.
Here is a countdown of his most electrifying highlights of the night:
5. And One
The Wizards were charged with 29 personal fouls on the evening, causing Wall to be aa foul-seeking missile late in the contest:
4. Steal, Sprint, Slam
Shortly after halftime, Wall lulled the Hawks to sleep on this offensive inbound, taking it the length of the court for the slam dunk. He followed it up with a world-class staredown:
3. Go Deep
Wall didn’t have to do all the work on Wednesday, just put himself in the right position. With one minute remaining and the Wizards in need of insurance, Otto Porter collected a loose ball and fired a deep pass to Wall, hitting him in stride on the way to a slam:
2. Hit the Spin Move
Spin moves are for video games, and rarely work in real life. If they did, this is approximately what they would look like, as Wall spins off of Marcin Gortat, who set the pick, and found himself wide open near the free throw line:
1. Run For Daylight
Early on this contest, Gortat got down and dirty, grabbing a loose ball off the floor and zipping it out to Wall on the perimeter. Wall drove to the basket, pivoted and sprinted away from the basket, pivoted again on the fade away and knocked down a wide open, no-look jump shot from just outside of the paint:
Have yourself a night, John Wall. The Wizards win 109-101, protecting home court and taking a 2-0 lead on the road to Atlanta.