The Wizards blew a 20-point lead and were on the verge of blowing another game they had in hand, but the reserves kept them afloat in the third quarter and the starters came alive to close it out at Phillips Arena on Wednesday. They ended a three-game losing streak, ended an 11-game losing streak in Atlanta and had seven players in double figures led by John Wall with 21 points, 12 assists and no turnovers.
It was Wall's first win in Atlanta, and the first for the Wizards there in six years.
Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza had 19 points each, Marcin Gortat 14 points and 12 rebounds and Nene 10 points and six rebounds. Ariza also had nine rebounds and Beal six assists, five rebounds and a block.
Paul Millsap led the Hawks (25-28) with 21 points, but they still lost their seventh in a row.
The Wizards (26-28) shot 13-for-24 from three-point range, led by Ariza at 5-for-8, Wall 3-for-6, Martell Webster 3-for-5 and Beal 2-for-4.
Turning point: Once again, the Wizards fell apart in the third quarter. After only have three turnovers in the first half, they had four in the first half of the third quarter as Millsap cut the deficit to 68-67 with a shot in the lane. But the Wizards ended with third with consecutive three-pointers, one from Webster and a 57-foot heave to beat the buzzer by Ariza to enter the fourth up 91-83.
Key stats: The Wizards had just 10 turnovers, seven fewer than the Hawks. ... They also had 30 assists on 46 made field goals.
Bench output: Trevor Booker did it inside and out, sparking the Wizards in key moments when the Hawks made their runs. He finished with 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting and four steals. Webster led the reserves, who contributed 31 points, with 13. Kevin Seraphin only had two points but his field goal came at a pivotal moment when he went at Millsap in the lane to push the score to 85-80. Garrett Temple added four points and two assists.
From the locker room: "I thought we came out the way we had to come out. Every team is going to make a run. I thought in the third we got broken down off the dribble. They lived in the paint in that third quarter, getting to the rim and breaking us down. We made an adjustment on how we wanted to play that pick-and-roll in the fourth quarter and did a much better job." -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman
"They just played the right way. They looked at film and saw what teams have been doing against us lately. That's basically running a lot of pick-and-rolls and they've been hurting us. They did in that third quarter and we found aw way to stop it. Martell made a big 3 and Trevor made a big 3 to end that third quarter to give us a little cushion. We just started connecting, getting a couple stops and moved the ball offensively." -- Wall
"We lost our aggression. They went on a good run, made a lot of shots. … Defensively we gave them straight blow-bys, myself included. We ended up bearing down on defense getting stops and ended up turning it around in the fourth." -- Beal
Up next: The Wizards returned to D.C. immediately after the game, will be off Thursday and practice Friday before playing the New Orleans Pelicans at Verizon Center on Saturday (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).