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Wizards Take 3-2 Series Lead with 103-99 Game 5 Win vs. Hawks Behind John Wall

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC -  APRIL 26: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards handles the ball during the game against the Atlanta Hawks in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2017 at Verizon Center in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Washington Wizards bounced back from consecutive losses and captured a 103-99 Game 5 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night at Verizon Center to take a 3-2 first-round series lead in their Eastern Conference matchup. 

However, the win wasn't without tense moments. 

Although the Wizards made a pair of second-half runs that put them in position to pull away and stretch their lead to double digits, the Hawks were able to respond time and again to make the home team sweat things out. 

But as has been the case all season long, John Wall and Bradley Beal came up with timely buckets and dimes to move the Wizards within one win of the second round. 

Beal led all Washington scorers with 27 points (11-of-22 shooting), while Wall flirted with a triple-double to the tune of 20 points, 14 assists and six rebounds. He also provided the night's most eye-popping highlight when he took off inside the paint and uncorked a fierce left-handed jam: 

And after those two didn't have much help from supporting options in Games 3 and 4, they received it in spades from Otto Porter Jr., Bojan Bogdanovic and Brandon Jennings in Game 5: 

Washington's X-Factors
PlayerPTSFGM/FGA3PM/3PAFTM/FTAREBAST+/-
Otto Porter Jr.173/42/39/1051+1
Bojan Bogdanovic144/72/34/460+6
Brandon Jennings21/10/00/003+3
Source: NBA.com

Porter Jr.'s contributions were especially noteworthy considering he was able to convert his open three-point attempts and get to the line repeatedly in order to offer Wall and Beal some relief, as ESPN Stats & Info pointed out: 

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Otto Porter Jr. has 15 points, the first time a Wizards player outside of Wall/Beal has scored 15 since Game 1.

Jennings was also a big part of the Wizards' winning effort, and he energized the team when he broke out some vintage playground moves in the fourth quarter and sliced and diced his way through the Hawks defense before dishing to Bogdanovic for a big bucket: 

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Mixtape B. Jennings 🔥 https://t.co/51K9cFOyvT

The Hawks, it should be noted, weren't without balanced contributions of their own. 

Dennis Schroder was in a special zone all night long, and he made the Wizards pay from mid-range and long-range repeatedly as he finished with a game-high 29 points (10-of-18 shooting, 5-of-6 from three) in a superlative showing that caught the eye of The Ringer's Bill Simmons and the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore: 

Bill Simmons @BillSimmons

Was never a big Schroeder fan but he's been terrific in this Wizards series. These teams are dead even. Unexpectedly fun series.

Adam Kilgore @AdamKilgoreWP

Dennis Schroder has five threes tonight, which didn't happen once all regular season.

Paul Millsap (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (15 points) flanked Schroder with strong efforts of their own, but the Hawks simply didn't have answers for Wall and Beal with the game on the line. 

As a result, the Hawks will head back to their home floor looking to replicate their Game 3 and Game 4 performances to force a decider back at Verizon Center. 

Game 6 is scheduled to tip off from Philips Arena on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBATV.