ATLANTA -- John Wall did what appeared unthinkable by playing through a five breaks in his left wrist and hand, but Al Horford's putback with two seconds gave the No. 1 seed Atlanta Hawks the victory for a 3-2 series lead.
Paul Pierce, who had a turnover that led to a layup for DeMarre Carroll that gave Atlanta an 80-78 lead with 15 seconds left, buried the go-ahead basket with a corner three-pointer with 8.3 seconds left until the final sequence. Dennis Schroder drove and missed, but Horford cleaned up the miss for an 82-81 victory.
The team that wins Game 5 after being tied at 2 is 147-33 all-time in the series (81.6%).
Wall had 15 points on 7-for-13 shooting, seven assists and four steals to spark the Wizards, who lost a 10-point lead in the third quarter and a seven-point lead in the fourth.
Bradley Beal had a game-high 23 points and seven rebounds and Marcin Gortat 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
The loss overshadows the effort by Wall, who still has a left hand that's significantly swollen. Though he shoots right, he uses it a lot to finish at the rim. Wednesday, the Hawks overplayed him to go right and he was able to get to the rim and make things happen early but he only scored four points in the second half.
He took a charge from Mike Muscala and lost the ball when he slipped to the floor after that in the third quarter, scrambling for the loose ball with Kent Bazemore. Wall braced himself with his left hand and didn't seem to favor it after the fact. He chased down Schroder for a block with his right hand in the waning minutes of the fourth.
But Horford slashed in on Schroder's miss to take the rebound away from Nene for the likely series-changing putback.
TURNING POINT: Trailing 70-63, the Hawks went on a 15-3 run to take a five-point lead in the final three minutes on consecutive transition baskets by Schroder.
NUMBERS GAME: The Wizards shot 33 of 88, 37.5%, and had 19 turnovers -- six fewer than the Hawks.
LOCKED DOWN: Beal said he "hated" when Kyle Korver touched the ball, even if he wasn't shooting. He continued to show that aggression on him defensively, along with Porter, as the NBA's best three-point shooter opened 0-for-3 in the first half. Korver was so off-rhythm that when he finally had a clean look, he barely touched iron. Korver's only basket came on a three when the Hawks needed it during their fourth-quarter comeback.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Schroder has been a major problem off the bench, averaging 12.5 points in just 19.5 minutes off the bench in this series. Schroder also made 15 trips to the foul line entering the game. He had his worst outing in this one as he couldn't get into the paint to finish. Schroder missed his first four shots and had three turnovers in relief of Teague. Teague had four giveaways in the first half.
EARLY ENGAGEMENT: Getting the ball to Nene and Gortat was imperative to start the game, and they combined for 14 first-half shots that produced 15 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals.
UP NEXT: The Wizards returned to D.C. immediately after the game, will practice Thursday and play Game 6 at Verizon Center on Friday.
MORE WIZARDS: John Wall active for Game 5 against Hawks