Hawks level series with Wizards, Raptors in command
Los Angeles (AFP) – Dennis Schroder shook off a slow start to score 18 points in the Atlanta Hawks’ 111-101 win over the Washington Wizards on Monday that knotted their NBA playoff series at two games apiece.
Germany’s Schroder drained two three-pointers, made a jump shot and a driving layup in the final four minutes as the Hawks thwarted a Wizards comeback bid in Atlanta.
In Toronto, the Raptors took a commanding 3-2 series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks with a 118-93 victory.
Norman Powell, starting for the second time in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series, scored 25 points for the Raptors, who took a 3-2 lead and will try to clinch the series in Milwaukee on Thursday.
The winners of the series will take on the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who swept their series against the Indiana Pacers.
The Cavaliers beat the Raptors in the Eastern Conference finals last season.
In Monday’s marquee match-up, the Golden State Warriors attempted to complete a sweep of the Trail Blazers in Portland.
The Warriors were buoyed by the return of forward Kevin Durant, who missed two games with a calf injury suffered in their game-one win over the Trail Blazers.
The Hawks and Wizards are now assured of going at least six games, with game five on Wednesday in Washington.
Schroder was key for the Hawks. Despite falling into early foul trouble and going scoreless in the first half he finished by making six of 15 shots from the field and all four of his free-throw attempts, along with grabbing three rebounds.
Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, winning the showdown with the Wizards’ Markieff Morris, who called the Atlanta forward a “crybaby” after game three.
Morris had nine points for the Wizards, who were led by Bradley Beal’s 32.
Washington star John Wall scored a series-low 22 points and added 10 assists and five rebounds.