Posted January 12, 2013 on
AP on Fox
After getting a much-needed boost by rallying to end a lengthy skid, the Atlanta Hawks would appear to have a chance to keep their momentum going when they face the NBA-worst Washington Wizards.
The Wizards, though, have been competitive in all three games with the Hawks this season and are expected to have star point guard John Wall available for the first time in 2012-13 during Saturday night's matchup.
Atlanta (21-14) ended a season-high four-game losing streak by overcoming a 15-point deficit in the second half and shooting 55.6 percent in a 103-95 home win over Utah on Friday. The Hawks averaged 87.8 points during their slide.
"It's huge for us," said Devin Harris, who had a season-high 24 points in his first start since returning from a sore left foot. "It builds character. It brings a team together."
Atlanta would appear to have a good opportunity at its first win streak since a four-game run Dec. 22-29 as it's won 18 of 19 over the Wizards and six in a row. The Hawks have also won nine of 10 in Washington and prevailed in each of the past two visits.
Atlanta, though, had to go to overtime to win in its only visit to the Verizon Center this season, 100-95 on Dec. 18. The Hawks also needed an extra period and had to sweat through a video review of Martell Webster's buzzer beater for a 101-100 home victory over the Wizards (5-28) on Nov. 21.
The Hawks nearly blew an 18-point lead in a 104-95 win against Washington on Dec. 7 in Atlanta. Josh Smith had 23 points and a season-high 15 rebounds in that win, and has averaged a team-best 21.7 points and 13.3 boards in this season's series.
Atlanta, though, has also had the benefit of not having to face Wall, who has been recovering from a stress injury to his left kneecap. The former No. 1 overall draft pick was cleared to play Friday after his third straight day of practice with no complications.
That news of Wall's expected return only added to the recent positivity for the Wizards, who are coming off a 101-99 win over Northwest Division-leading Oklahoma City on Monday. Bradley Beal hit the go-ahead jumper with 0.3 seconds left and scored 22 points, tying Webster for the team lead.
The Wizards had lost 13 of 14 and five in a row before that victory.
"It's a new beginning," Wall said. "I think it's exciting that my teammates are excited to have me back on the court."
Wizards coach Randy Wittman said that Wall's minutes will initially be determined by the team's trainers.
"He's going to be going 100 miles per hour, knowing John. He's going to have to temper that but you also want him to play the way he plays. I don't want to pull back too much on that," Wittman said. "His conditioning is something I'm going to have to keep an eye on."
Wall was held to eight points on 1-of-10 shooting in his most recent meeting with Atlanta, a 95-92 home loss March 24, after averaging 18.2 in his first six matchups.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Washington Wizards guard John Wall is scheduled to make his season debut on Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers, multiple media outlets reported Friday. Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, has not played at all this season as he recovers from a knee injury. His minutes will be restricted on Saturday and in his first several games back as he gets into game...
Washington Wizards guard and former number 1 pick John Wall is aiming to return to the court for the first time in the 2012-2013 season after suffering from a stress injury to the left knee cap. Wall on his injury said he wanted to take his time and come back [...]
Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.
1: Another brick
Washington is trying to shut the naysayers up.
The Wizards have the worst record in the league. They have pundits claiming they have no one to build around. They have an apathetic fan base that has not experienced much in the way of winning for easily the last...
WASHINGTON -- It took longer than expected, but John Wall is back. Just in case not everybody on the court was already aware of this, the electric point guard excitedly let them know. Wall scored 14 points in his season debut, Bradley Beal and A.J. Price each had 16 points and the Washington Wizards won consecutive games for the first time this season with a 93-83 win over the...
wizards 93 hawks 831/12/2013 - Verizon Center, Washington, DCESPN BoxscoreNBA.com Game Highlights
(Photo courtesy of NBA.com/Ned Dishman)
This one was locked up pretty early for me. In John Wall’s return, Martell Webster was the Wizards MVP (see what I did there?). He started off the game with a quick six points as he and Nene scored the Wizards first 12 points. Webster’s...
John Wall gave his teammates a lift with 14 points and four assists in his first game of the season, and the worst-in-NBA Washington Wizards have their first winning streak after a 93-83 victory Saturday night over the Atlanta Hawks.
Wall's playing time will be limited as he returns from a knee injury, but he appeared to have his old speed and explosiveness back while playing...
John Wall made moves off of the court on Wednesday and is getting ready to make moves on the floor for the Washington Wizards on Saturday under a very watchful eye.
On Wednesday, Wall -- in partnership with Reebok -- announced the former number one overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft was transitioning over to the adidas basketball family (keep in mind that adidas owns Reebok)...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- John Wall gave his teammates a lift with 14 points and four assists in his first game of the season, and the worst-in-NBA Washington Wizards have their first winning streak after a 93-83 victory Saturday night over the Atlanta Hawks.
Wall's playing time will be limited as he returns from a knee injury, but he appeared to have his old speed and explosiveness...
PORTLAND, Ore. (January 9, 2013) – adidas today announced a long‐term partnership with basketball superstar John Wall of the Washington Wizards.
“I’ve enjoyed my time with Reebok and I’m grateful for everything we accomplished the last few years,” said Wall. “Now, I’m excited to return to the court soon and begin my new partnership with adidas. They’ve changed...
WASHINGTON -- John Wall scored 14 points in his season debut, Bradley Beal and A.J. Price each had 16 points and the Washington Wizards won consecutive games for the first time this season with a 93-83 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night at the Verizon Center. The No. 1 overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, Wall missed the opening 33 games with a left knee injury. The...