Al Horford sealed the Hawks third win of the series with a layup with less than 2.0 seconds on the clock.
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The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Washington Wizards 82-81 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals to take a 3-2 edge in the series.
The Wizards struggled early with big-man C Marcin Gortat even being rejected at the rim by the Hawks:
But Gortat would redeem himself in the second quarter with a layup on the rim that rolled in and later led to a lead for the Wizards going into halftime.
Paul Pierce, whose name would be called frequently in the second half, made the first three-pointer of the game late in the second quarter to give the Wizards a 6-point lead going into halftime.
Eager not to lose Game 5 in front of the home crowd, Hawks C Al Horford began taking over for the team in the third quarter, first on a big dunk to finish off a layup attempt by F DeMarre Carroll.
Horford’s name would be called again just minutes later on a short FG shot that erased the deficit to Washington and gave them their first lead of the second half.
And then finally, after being invisible for the duration of Game 4, starting G Kyle Korver showed up with his one and only successful shot of the night: A long three-foot jumper to keep the game close heading into the fourth quarter.
Despite being a relatively low-scoring game – only 163 points in this game compared to the bare-minimum 196 in the first four games of the series – it was excitement galore in the fourth quarter as John Wall recorded a vital block to keep the Wizards in control, albeit for a short while.
But a late turnover by Paul Pierce nearly cost them the game as DeMarre Carroll capitalized on the Wizards Forward tripping and gave the Hawks a late lead.
Pierce redeemed himself with less than 16 seconds remaining with a magnificent three-point jumper that reminded everyone why he is nicknamed “The Truth”
But even Pierce couldn’t predict that the Hawks would use the final few seconds to drive to the rim and give the ball to the big man Al Horford, who promptly scored the game-winning layup with less than 2.0 seconds on the clock to seal the win.