The Atlanta Hawks took a crucial 3-2 series lead over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night, with Al Horford hitting the dramatic game-winner.
It seemed as though the Hawks were set for further heartbreak thanks to Paul Pierce as the seconds ticked down in Game 5, with ‘the Truth’ hitting a three-pointer to put the visitors up by one heading into the final possession.
While the Wizards veteran was rightly pumped after drilling his shot from beyond the arc, the celebrations were premature as Horford grabbed an offensive rebound down the other end of the court for the put-back which ultimately ensured that Atlanta picked up a vital win.
The Hawks center ended the game with 23 points and 11 rebounds, but it was his final two points that were the most important as he sealed a win for his team to move them within one game of making the Eastern Conference finals.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 23 points, but it wasn’t enough as they must now face elimination in Game 6 on Friday night.
Over in the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors protected home court as they made the most of Tony Allen’s absence to seal a win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
The victory sees them move 3-2 ahead in the series, with Stephen Curry putting up 18 points on six 3-pointers and he added a career-playoff high of six steals to go with seven rebounds and five assists.
Klay Thompson also broke out of his slump to score 21 points, while coach Steve Kerr got key contributions from Harrison Barnes and bench stars Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
Golden State now head back to the ‘Grindhouse’ hoping to wrap up the series and advance to the Western Conference Finals.
Washington Wizards 81-82 Atlanta Hawks
Memphis Grizzlies 78-98 Golden State Warriors