Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/12/13
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 point guard entered the game late in the first quarter, played 21 minutes including the final six as the Wizards (6-28) pulled away for their first win in four games over the Hawks this season. Martell Webster scored 15 points, Emeka Okafor had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who upset Oklahoma City 101-99 on Monday. Washington out-rebounded the Hawks 51-38, finished with a 46-22 points in the paint advantage and led after every quarter. Jeff Teague paced the Hawks (21-15) with 19 points and Al Horford had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Atlanta struggled at shooting from the floor (38.5 percent) and the free-throw line, and lost for the fourth time in five games. Back on Sep. 28, the Wizards announced that Wall, one of only three players in the NBA last season to average at least 16 points and eight assists, would miss approximately eight weeks. It turned out to be much longer. Wall only returned to full-contact practice last week. "It's the biggest feeling," Wall said on Friday about his return. You know I haven't played in so long, so I'm going to be anxious and super-excited, so I'll probably get tired in probably 30 seconds, because I haven't played in so long." Without the face of the franchise and one of the NBA's top point guards, the Wizards opened the season 0-12, later tacked on an eight-game skid en route to owning the league's worst record. He played eight straight minutes after entering to a standing ovation from the announced crowd of 15,331 with 4:56 left in the first quarter. Wall quickly established an immediate connection with Beal, deftly feeding Washington's newest rookie star for a thunderous dunk ending the first quarter and a jumper starting the second, giving Washington a 29-17 lead. Having already made three free throws, Wall's first basket put the Wizards ahead 31-20. The Hawks countered with a 16-2 spurt -- the bulk coming after Wall left -- but Washington lead 51-50 at halftime. Capping the third quarter scoring, Wall's foul line dribble crossed over Devin Harris and he was fouled banking home a driving layup. His free throw gave the Wizards a 73-66 lead. Back on the court midway through the fourth quarter, Wall made consecutive layups on artistic drives, stretching Washington's lead to 87-77 with 3:52 left. His final highlight, a left-handed behind-the-back pass to Trevor Ariza for a slam-dunk, brought the crowd back to their feet. The Hawks, who shot 7 of 24 (29.2 percent) from 3-point range and 16 of 24 from the free throw line, had won six straight over Washington including three games this season. NOTES: Trevor Booker returned for Washington after missing the last 24 games with a strained right knee. ... Despite getting closer to a full roster, the Wizards played for a second straight game without Jordan Crawford (sore left ankle) and Cartier Martin (hyperextended left knee). In the previous meeting against his former team, Crawford posted his second career triple-double. ... Kyle Korver made 1 of 4 3-pointers, giving him at least one 3-pointer in 30 games, the longest streak of his career.
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