WASHINGTON — John Wall had every right to be angry at the end of the first half of Game 3 vs. the Atlanta Hawks, after the Washington Wizards trailed by as many as 25 points.
He handled his frustration by throwing up some highlight plays of his own, both with a slam dunk and from outside of the arc. First with the dunk, which came immediately after another Hawks’ three-pointer that pushed their lead to 25. The Hawks shot 46 percent from beyond the arc in the first half.
On his way down the court, Wall sent the ball around behind his back and posterized a hapless Hawks defender:
That’s a slam dunk, in traffic, off an inbound pass, for those of you counting at home.
Wall also showed off his sharpshooting skills in the first half, hitting a fadeaway three-pointer from the corner as he landed out of bounds:
The Wizards trailed by 18 at halftime, but not for lack of effort or productivity from Wall. The All-Star point guard had 21 points and four assists, on pace for the best playoff statistical performance of his career. Beal, conversely, had missed all six of his three-point attempts through the first three quarters of play.
Early in the third quarter, the Wizards closed the deficit to 13 points before ballooning back to 19 points. It was then that Wall ran the length of the court again, taking the layup and foul:
At the end of the third quarter, the Wizards again trailed by 23. The Wizards will need a Herculean comeback in the fourth quarter if they want to push the Hawks to the brink of elimination.