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Scott, Mack lead Hawks past Wizards

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WASHINGTON — Forward Mike Scott and guard Shelvin Mack don’t start for the Atlanta Hawks. In a matchup with the Washington Wizards, however, the reserve pair finished off the Southeast Division leaders.

Scott and Mack sparked a 22-5 fourth-quarter run and guard Jeff Teague scored 28 points for the second straight game as the Hawks pulled away for a 106-102 win over the Wizards on Tuesday night.

Scott had 12 of his 17 points in the fourth and combined with Mack for Atlanta’s first 16 points in the final period. The duo sparked the final-period push as Atlanta (7-5) turned a tight — albeit sloppy — game into a 92-78 lead with 4:03 remaining.

All but five points in that stretch were scored by Scott or Mack, who had a season-high 13 points.

“When their number is called, they’re always ready, always prepared,” Teague said of Scott and Mack. “Tonight their number was called and they stepped up and made big plays.”

Forward Paul Millsap had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, winners of two straight. Atlanta entered 1-4 on the road.

“It means a lot especially early in the season we’ve been losing a lot of close games in a row,” Mack said. “Earlier in the year, we probably would’ve lost that game. … It’s great to get those wins on the road especially against the team that’s leading the division.”

John Wall scored 21 points for the Wizards (9-4), but had six turnovers, or one less than fellow guard Bradley Beal. Washington had won two straight and five of six before Tuesday. The Wizards committed a season-high 25 turnovers, leading to 25 points for Atlanta.

“It was a bad game overall,” said Beal after scoring 13 points to go with seven turnovers and zero assists. Looking to move on from the disappointing outing, the guard cracked, “I’ve got amnesia. I don’t remember anything from the game, so we can move on, if you guys want to.”

As the St. Louis native struggled, hundreds of people gathered near the Verizon Center, one of many nationwide protests following a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who shot teenager Michael Brown.

As the game ended, the public address announcer instructed fans to exit in one direction only as the arena located in the District of Columbia’s Northwest section closed doors leading to 7th Street.

The Wizards sank four 3-pointers in the final 49.2 seconds and forward Paul Pierce’s jumper cut the deficit to 105-102 with 2.4 seconds remaining. The Hawks made 6 of 8 free throws in the final 30 seconds, including one by Mack with 1.9 seconds left.

Both teams were guilty of ineffective basketball most of the game. The Hawks led 41-39 at halftime and neither team held a lead larger than three points until Atlanta’s decisive run.

“A little sloppy game, but guys were playing hard defensively,” said Teague, who made 12 of 14 free throws. “They’re a really talented team. They play hard defensively and we were doing the same. It was hard to get a lead on either side. Back and forth game until we pulled it out.”

Humming for most of the season, the Wizards produced a disjointed first half, shooting 36 percent from the field and committing 13 turnovers. Washington averaged 13.9 turnovers per game through 12 games. Center Marcin Gortat had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

“That was as bad as we could play offensively, for whatever reason,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. “Trying to do too much. Over-dribbling, ball-sticking, predetermining, no matter what the defense was going to do, and we just get in trouble like that. … That was just trying to do too much by everybody.”

Atlanta also coughed the ball up plenty, committing 15 turnovers, but only four in the second half. One of the top NBA teams in assists this season, the Hawks had four in the first half, but 12 over the final two quarters.

NOTES: F Paul Pierce scored 14 points and passed Jerry West (25,192 points) for 17th on the NBA’s All-time scoring list with a jumper 1:29 into the third quarter. … Wizards F/C Nene did not play after he suffered a right plantar fasciitis injury during the first half of Saturday’s road over the Milwaukee Bucks. He is unlikely to play in the Wizards’ pre-Thanksgiving day matchup at the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday. Washington’s top high post threat missed 50 games over the past two seasons. … Atlanta F Kyle Korver entered Tuesday as the only NBA player shooting at least 50 percent from the field (50.0), 50 percent on 3-point attempts (56.7) and 90 percent from the free-throw line (92.0). He went 0-for-3 against the Wizards. … Washington won last season’s series 3-1.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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