The Atlanta Hawks advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals after seeing off the Washington Wizards on Friday night for a 4-2 series win after a 94-91 victory in Game 6.
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The Hawks were almost denied as Paul Pierce hit a buzzer-beating three at the end of regulation to seemingly take the game into overtime. However, on review the veteran didn’t get the shot off before time expired, and so the Hawks celebrated their victory and advance to the next round.
“It went in and it’s just like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. That did not just happen,'” Kyle Korver said, shaking his head. “I thought he got it off. I was getting ready for overtime. And then … you’re like, ‘Heeeeyyyy! All right! We’ll take it!”
DeMarre Carroll had a playoff career-high 25 points while both Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap added 20 points apiece for the No.1 seed in the East. Although they struggled at times this series, coach Mike Budenholzer will have been delighted with what he saw from his team as they fought through adversity and played their brand of basketball to prevail.
As for the Wizards, it is another disappointing end to the season as they had seemingly showed signs of putting it together in the playoffs after an indifferent finish to the regular season.
John Wall finished the game with 20 points and 13 assists as well as six rebounds as he played through his fractured wrist, while Bradley Beal had 29 points as the pair will look to come again next season.
However, after winning three straight games after trailing 2-1 in the series, the Hawks advance for their first trip to the conference final since the NBA realigned into conferences in 1970/71 where they will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers.