Page last updated on Sun Apr 26 15:27:36 EDT 2015
11/30/2013 11:03 PM EST
Wall, Ariza lead Wizards over Hawks, 108-101

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A slow start to the season turned into
Washington's best November in 29 years.

John Wall had 26 points and 12 assists, Trevor Ariza scored 24
points and made five 3-pointers, and the Wizards beat the
Atlanta Hawks 108-101 on Saturday night.

The Wizards lost their first three games and seven of their
first nine, but have now won six of their last eight. They won
eight games in November for the first time since 1984.

"This was a good month for us. It was a tough start to the
month, to the season. We didn't want to get the start we had,
but it happened," coach Randy Wittman said.

Washington has played the last four games without starting guard
Bradley Beal, hasn't had first-round draft choice Otto Porter at
all, and still managed to nearly break even. Their 8-9 record
isn't what they want it to be, but still makes the Wizards one
of the better teams in the Eastern Conference.

With the Hawks' loss, there are just two teams in the conference
with winning records.

"I really don't want to look at it like that. I want to see how
good we can be, but if you look at the conference, a lot of
teams are kind of in the middle right now. We're trying to find
ourselves as a team, trying to put it together. Hopefully we can
get it going. I think we will," Atlanta center Al Horford said.

Martell Webster added 19 points for Washington and also had five
3-pointers. Nene, who returned after missing Friday's game at
Indiana with a right Achilles tendon injury, had 13 points and
12 rebounds.

Paul Millsap had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta, which
cut an 18-point, third-quarter deficit to 81-79 with 9:42 left,
but could not get closer.

Horford added 16 points and Jeff Teague had 15 for the Hawks.

Ariza scored eight points in the final 9:20 to help secure the

"We're showing growth. We're showing maturity. I feel we're
ready to take the next step and become a playoff team," Ariza

Washington got some of its roughest road games out of the way,
losing to Oklahoma City, Dallas and San Antonio in a rough
three-game trip. The Wizards also lost to Miami and Indiana on
the road.

"It wasn't the easiest schedule to start with. I think it might
be a positive in the long run playing against some top quality
teams on the road early in the season," Wittman said.

Washington took the lead early in the first quarter and led
28-20 after one. Thanks to two 3-pointers late in the second
quarter by Webster, the Wizards led 54-44 at halftime.

Washington hit on five of its first six shots in the third
quarter to take a 66-48 lead with 8:12 to play.

The Hawks answered with an 11-0 run to cut the lead to 66-59
with 4:20 to play, and Washington led 79-70 after three.

Wall had his first three games of 30-plus points from Nov.
22-26. He followed it with a 19-point performance on Wednesday
at Milwaukee, but had a bad night against the Pacers on Friday,
shooting just 4 for 14. Saturday night was much better.

"When we're healthy, I feel we can compete with anybody," Wall

"We didn't panic because we knew what kind of team we had. We
have a team that's capable of being in the playoffs," Wall said.

NOTES: Atlanta G Kyle Korver missed his third straight game with
a bruised rib. . G Lou Williams didn't play because Budenholzer
has chosen not to use him in back-to-back games as he recovers
from ACL surgery. . The Hawks' next game is on Tuesday at San
Antonio, where Budenholzer spent nearly 20 years as a video
coordinator and assistant coach. "I'm not allowed to look ahead.
You've allowed to ask, but I can't look ahead," Budenholzer
said. "Tomorrow or the next day I can think about that, but
right now I'm thinking about Washington." . F Al Harrington
missed his ninth straight game with a right knee injury. .
Wittman and Budenholzer were each assessed a technical foul in
the second quarter for arguing a foul call.

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