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Kuzma, Wizards roll to win in Hawks' worst offensive performance of the season

Kyle Kuzma Washington Wizards Kyle Kuzma - The Canadian Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Kyle Kuzma scored 29 points and the Washington Wizards took advantage of the Atlanta Hawks' worst offensive night this season to roll to a 127-99 victory on Saturday.

Jordan Poole added 20 points for the Wizards, who snapped a six-game losing streak and improved their road record to 4-18 this season. It was their largest victory of the season.

“I thought we really played well tonight,” said Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. “Our overall energy and our creativity offensively. We played with the right amount of force on both sides.”

The Wizards held the Hawks to a season-low 34% shooting from the field. The Hawks also failed to score 100 points for the first time this season and ended their streak of 94 straight games with at least 100 points, the third-longest in NBA history.

The Hawks had beaten the Wizards all three games this season and six straight dating back to last season.

Trae Young had 21 points on 6-of-19 shooting for the Hawks, who trailed by 28 points at the end of the third quarter. The Hawks fell to 6-11 at home.

“We didn’t have a quarter over 30 (points). That’s not like us,” Young said. “We didn’t score 100. That’s not like us. It was just one of those nights. We played last night against (the Pacers), a team that runs a lot, and I guarantee (the Wizards) knew that and they pushed the pace and were physical and pushed it right back to us.”

Deni Avdija had 19 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists, and was the primary defender on Young for the Wizards.

Hawks guard Dejounte Murray, who was questionable but played with a strained hamstring, had 11 points. That broke a streak of six straight games of scoring 20 or more. He has been the subject of trade speculation ahead of the NBA's Feb. 8 trade deadline.

On a freezing night in Atlanta, the Hawks were frigid on the floor. The Wizards, who ranked last in the NBA in points allowed per game at 125.9, held the league's fourth-highest scoring team to 31% shooting and 28 from behind the 3-point line in the first half.

“It can be deflating when you get the looks you want,” Young said. “We’re getting good shots and they are not going in. The first half, we were still playing pretty good defense, but also, we were missing shots we’re supposed to be making. It gives them a lift, too.”

Leading 75-60 midway through the third quarter, the Wizards put away the game with a 24-11 run to close the quarter. The Wizards led by double digits for the final 23 minutes.

“At times, we’ve had issues (playing with leads),” Unseld said. “We can get a little momentum, and then we can have one of those lulls and let people back into the game. We didn’t do that tonight. We stayed aggressive. We put our foot down and stretched that lead, which was big for us.”


Wizards: Home against the Pistons on Monday.

Hawks: Host the Spurs on Monday afternoon in their annual home Martin Luther King Jr. Day game.