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Pierce's misfire isn't to blame for losing Game 4

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Pierce's misfire isn't to blame for losing Game 4

Paul Pierce had a more open look to tie the score at the end of Game 4 than he had when he won it at the buzzer in Game 3. This result, however, was different for the Wizards. 

Pierce's three-point shot, which came open because of the Wizards taking advantage of the Atlanta Hawks' constant switches, hit the back of the rim in what became a 106-101 loss to tie the series at 2. His bank shot at the buzzer of Game 3 had given the Wizards a 103-101 victory on Saturday.

"I thought I got a great look. That is the way it goes sometimes," said Pierce, who made his first five three-point shots and finished with 22 points. "Sometimes you make (it) and sometimes you miss. We are not going to put our heads down. We are just going to look at the things we need to do better to get back ready for Game 5."

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There's a laundry list, but this is the short version:

  • Get Marcin Gortat more touches (seven shots)

  • Keep Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder out of the lane (40 points)

  • Keep the Hawks out of transition by committing too many turnovers (17)

  • Capitalize when Pero Antic and Mike Muscala are on the floor 

With a chance to take a 3-1 series lead and maintain the home-court advantage they took from the No. 1 seed Hawks by winning Game 1, the Wizards lost their way defensively. 

While they made 10 of their first 15 three-point attempts, the Hawks made 26 of 44 shots in the first half for 59.1% shooting. They trailed 66-55 by halftime and had to play from behind the rest of the way.

"For whatever reason we were not (there) mentally ... physically. Effort-wise we were perfect," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "But mentally we were not into what we were trying to accomplish defensively in the first half. We were not all on the same page and when you're like that you are going to give up easy baskets. (Thirty-two) points in the paint in the first half."

Pierce carried the offensive load in the first half when he scored 14 of his points. Beal took over after the break, scoring 17 of his career-playoff high 34.

"I thought it was going in," Beal said of Pierce's three-point attempt in the final seconds. "It was a great look, a great play drawn up by Witt. They started switching and they were kind of confused and Paul had a great open look. The open one is always the hardest one to make. Just knowing we were right there even though we didn't play a great game, we still have something to look forward to."

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2019 NBA Draft: Hawks trade up to No. 4, reportedly plan to pick Virginia's De'Andre Hunter

2019 NBA Draft: Hawks trade up to No. 4, reportedly plan to pick Virginia's De'Andre Hunter

The first big move of NBA Draft night - according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski - was to help Atlanta land Virginia's De'Andre Hunter.

Per Wojnarowski Atlanta has acquired the No. 4 pick from the Pelicans, which they got from the Lakers in the mega-deal for Anthony Davis, for the picks No. 8, 17, and 35. With that fourth overall selection, the Hawks plan to take Hunter. 

Hunter, the reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a member of UVA's national championship team this past season, was profiled in NBC Sports Washington's I Am The Prospect series.

In his interview with NBC Sports Washington, Hunter described what he expects draft night to be like for him and his family. 

"Draft night's gonna be really emotional. I don't know if I'm gonna cry or not, but I know a few members of my family will be crying, so that'll probably get to me a little bit," Hunter said. "It's gonna be a great moment for not only me but for my family as well."

In another pre-draft trade, the Suns have acquired the No. 11 pick and forward Dario Saric from the Timberwolves for the No. 6 pick, per Wojnarowski

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2019 NBA Draft: All the best and wildest draft suits from the red carpet in New York

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2019 NBA Draft: All the best and wildest draft suits from the red carpet in New York

It's NBA Draft night! That means prospects are about to begin the most exciting time of their professional lives. It also means they're going to show up in wild, sometimes fly, sometimes ill-advised outfits on the red carpet. 

Here's a quick roundup of what everybody's rocking this year. 

Bol Bol, Oregon

Is this one of the boldest draft looks ever? Hard to top rhinestone spider webs. 

RJ Barrett, Duke

Bright pink suit, custom Canadian flag lining and spiked loafers. A whole lot of look for Barrett. 

Zion Williamson, Duke

Williamson went with a cream tuxedo without a tie. 

Cam Reddish, Duke

Reddish opted for a gold-on-black print jacket and black shirt and pants, finished off with a simple gold chain and Versace loafers. 

Ja Morant, Murray State

Not only is Morant rocking a blue-purple pinstripe suit, but also he's wearing a pocket square of his own face! This is not a drill. 

Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga

Hachimura payed homage to his roots with his draft-night 'fit. In a burgundy and blue suit and shirt, he showed off fabrics from Japan and Benin in the lining of his jacket. 

This post will continue updating throughout the night

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