All of the energy and focus the Wizards vowed they'd have coming into Game 6, desperate to stay alive and force a decisive Game 7, was absent from the starters for three-plus quarters.
Paul Pierce's three-pointer at the buzzer, initially called good as he fell out of bounds over the contest of Kyle Korver, was waved off on review and left the sellout crowd of 20,356 stunned.
John Wall played for the second game in a row with five fractures in his left wrist to get 20 points, 13 assists and six rebounds as the Wizards lost for the second year in a row in the East semifinals with a 94-91 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. They've now lost seven times in a row, dating to 1997, in Game 6s at home when facing elimination.
Atlanta advanced to the conference finals for the first time where they'll meet the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Bradley Beal had a game-high 29 points and Kevin Seraphin came off the bench for career-playoff high 13 points. But that was the extent of it. Nene (five points), Pierce (four) and Marcin Gortat (two) were mostly non-factors.
Nene did have a team-high 11 rebounds as the Wizards were able to reverse a troubling trend to start the game where they were getting beaten to every loose ball.
But DeMarre Carroll had a team-high 25 points, including two layups in the final 60 seconds, for the Hawks. Jeff Teague had 20 points and seven assists. Paul Millsap contributed 20 points and 13 rebounds.
TURNING POINT: With the score tied at 39, the Wizards allowed a pair of layups and a five-foot shot from Dennis Schroder for a 6-0 run entering halftime. Al Horford and Carroll (twice) got to the rim for chip shots to open the third quarter for a double-digit lead that sustained the Hawks until late. The teams traded leads in the final minutes, but the Wizards missed 3 of 4 foul shots.
NUMBERS GAME: The Wizards shot just 34-for-93 from the field, 36.6%, and only made 4 of 18 three-pointers, 22.2%, had a 55-47 edge in rebounds and three fewer turnovers with 12.
LOST AND FOUND: Seraphin had been mostly invisible until tonight. The backup center hadn't played in the previous three games, but he scored six of his eight first-half points in the second quarter and solid individual and help defense steadied the Wizards when they were in danger of falling behind early. Seraphin missed his first shot but had a one-hand floater to end the first quarter that trickled in for a 20-19 lead. He made 4 of 8 shots in the first half and was the first big subbed in in the second half for Gortat.
DUBIOUS OVATIONS: The crowd was so disgusted the Wizards' lack of rebounding that they cheered when Gortat and Nene went to the bench. Teague missed a runner, fell down and as Nene sealed the defenders from the ball, none of his four teammates attacked the ball. The result was Teague regained his feet, got the ball back and scored.
WORKMAN-LIKE: Otto Porter hasn't been as efficient on the offensive end, but his hustle has sustained him. He shot 50% from the field in his first seven playoff games. Even though he was just 3-for-13 in Game 5, he had 10 rebounds because of his activity around the rim. It was similar tonight as he was the spark with Seraphin off the bench. Porter's transition dunk to trim the Wizards' deficit to 64-57 with 4:18 forced a timeout by Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. Chants of Porter's name took over the arena. He was only 3 of 9 but had seven points and eight rebounds.
DOGHOUSE: Gortat wrote on his official Facebook page earlier in the day this from the fantasy war movie 300: "Ready our breakfast and eat hearty, for tonight we dine in Hell!" Gortat was just 1-for-4 in 12 minutes for two points and three rebounds, his lowest output of the postseason.
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