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John Wall clinches win for Wizards on late father's birthday, birth of best friend's 1st child

John Wall clinches win for Wizards on late father's birthday, birth of best friend's 1st child

The day was an emotional one for John Wall, not just because he found himself and the Wizards in a must-win situation in Game 5 with the Atlanta Hawks.

He left Verizon Center in a rush for the hospital where his best friend -- and business manager, Ty Williams -- had his first child. Wednesday also would've been the 70th birthday of his late father, a man he barely got a chance to know. He died of cancer when Wall was eight. 

"Right when warmups was starting, he had the baby," Wall told CSNmidatlantic.com about Williams' daughter. "All day was emotional just knowing it was my dad's birthday. All the things I've been through, it's always great to have the opportunity to play on your dad's birthday. Especially to get a win, you can't ask for (anything) more."

Fortunately for him, 20 points and 14 assists later, the Wizards had a 3-2 lead in a hard-fought first-round series after winning 103-99.

[RELATED: 10 must-see moments from Wizards' Game 5 win over Hawks]

Wall only made 1 of 5 shots in the fourth quarter, but it was a big one. He pulled up from 21 feet, behind Marcin Gortat's screen as his defender went under, for the final basket to make it a two-possession game.

The Hawks couldn't score again.  

"They made shots and we didn't," said Atlanta's Kent Bazemore, who spent time defending Wall and Bradley Beal with 27 points. "That's the game."

The Wizards can close the series Friday at Phillips Arena in six games. The last time these teams met in the playoffs two years ago, it was the Hawks winning Game 6 on the Wizards' home floor to win the series 4-2.

"We're going to see a team that plays all-out. Give it everything they've got. So far it's the best of two. Nobody has (taken) over the series because nobody has won on the opposing team's home court yet," Wall said. "We know they have an amazing crowd. It's really our first time with a closeout game on the road. We got to see what we can do."

The bigger the game, the higher the intensity and stress level. But Wall walked away with a smile knowing he did his father proud on his special day.

[RELATED: Wall's cape makes strong case for wildest outfit of playoffs]

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2018-19 NBA power rankings: John Wall has Wizards rising, same with LeBron James and the Lakers

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2018-19 NBA power rankings: John Wall has Wizards rising, same with LeBron James and the Lakers

The start to the 2018-19 NBA season did not go smoothly for a handful of teams. The Wizards started 2-9, but have since won three straight. The Lakers, with LeBron James leading the way, started 2-5 but have won six of their last seven games.

Even the Rockets, considered one of the top contenders for the 2018-19 NBA championship, started slow, losing five of their first six games. But since the calendar switched from October to November, the Rockets turned things around, having won six of eight.

Click here to view the latest 2018-19 NBA Power Rankings

What about the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Steph Curry and company lost just once in their first 11 games, but have dropped three of their last five games amid turmoil between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. The Warriors are still clearly the favorites to win the NBA title again, but are they still perched atop our power rankings?

Here is a look at all 30 teams...

Click here to view the latest 2018-19 NBA Power Rankings

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Wizards vs. Nets: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Nets: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards (5-9) look to extend their win streak to four games when they host the Brooklyn Nets (6-9) at Capital One Arena Friday night (7 p.m., NBC Sports Washington).

A brutal west coast trip to start, along with the absence of Dwight Howard, provided an early-season setback for the Wizards. But thanks to consecutive wins over the Heat, Magic and Cavaliers, a 2-9 start is now quickly trending upward.

The Nets enter the Friday night game with a 3-6 road record and have lost their three previous games. Brooklyn will also be without the services of leading scorer Caris LeVert, who suffered a gruesome leg injury in the team's 120-113 loss to the Timberwolves on Monday night.  Brooklyn's start big man, Jarrett Allen, is questionable for the game having missed the Nets' previous two games with an illness.

Tune into NBC Sports Washington for pregame, postgame and live game coverage of Wizards vs. Nets. 

WIZARDS VS. NETS HOW TO WATCH:

What: Washington Wizards vs. Brooklyn Nets, 2018 NBA Regular Season, Game 15

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: Friday, November 16 at 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards-Nets will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can stream Wizards vs. Nets live on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and the MyTeams by NBC Sports App. After the game tonight, Wizards Postgame Live and Wizards Outsiders are streaming exclusively on the MyTeams app. Download MyTeams now for full postgame coverage and 24/7 Wizards news.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. NETS TV SCHEDULE:

6:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders 
6:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live
7:00 PM: Wizards vs. Nets
9:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (MyTeams App Exclusive)
10:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (MyTeams App Exclusive)

WIZARDS vs. NETS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: NONE

Nets: Caris LeVert (OUT, leg), Jarrett Allen (Questionable, Illness), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Questionable, ankle)

WIZARDS vs. NETS SERIES HISTORY: 

Number of all-time Meetings: 187 games (2 playoff games)

Regular Season Record: Wizards lead series 99-86

Playoff Record: Wizards lead series 2-0

Last Meeting: Wizards beat Nets 119-113 (OT) on 1/13/2018

Last 10: Wizards lead 8-2

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