Atlanta Hawks scored an alarming 35 points in the fourth quarter of game 3 against the Washington Wizards, but was still not able to script a win. In fact, it was Paul Pierce, who helped the Wizards turn victorious with a buzzer beater.
With the victory, Wizards have taken a 2-1 lead in the best of seven Playoff semi-finals series. It is surprising to witness Hawks being outplayed, as they were the team to beat in the regular season, where they won 60 and lost just 22 games.
But, the third game between the two teams did not show Hawks as a superior team, as they even trailed by more than 20 points during the game at one time. It was only in the third quarter that the Hawks suddenly sprung back to life.
But, in a competition like NBA playoffs, teams are required to give their best in all four quarters. The final score between the two sides reflects a close one with the score reading 103-101, but overall it was Wizards, who deserved the win more than the Hawks.
The Wizards have not let their guard down even without the services of their star player, John Wall, who might not feature in 2015 Playoffs any further due to a fractured wrist and hand. Wall averages 17.4 in NBA 2015 Playoffs.
So when these two teams meet at Verizon Center on Monday for the fourth game, expect the Hawks to come up with a better performance in all quarters. They have the ammunitions in their team to defeat the Wizards, irrespective of where they play.
The Hawks have only won the second game of the series, 90-106, but the hero of the third game, Wizards' Pierce feels they can even win the series.
"We feel like it's only us in the locker room who is going to give us a chance (without Wall)," AP quoted Pierce as saying.
"We feel like we should have won Game 2, truthfully. But even with John out, we still feel like we have enough in that room to win a game, to win this series. It's not going to deter us from our goals."
The fourth game is a must-win game for the Hawks, as another loss here will plummet their chances of making it to the conference finals. If they are to lose Monday's game, they need to win all the remaining games of the series on a trot, which is going to be a daunting task.
There is no dearth of quality players for Hawks in the league with players such as Paul Millsap, DeMarre Carroll, Al Horford, Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague. These players have the potential to win games single-handedly as well, but it is time to perform and prove themselves when the chips are down.
Where to Watch Live
The NBA Playoffs semi-finals game 4 between Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks is scheduled for 7pm ET (4:30am IST, 12am BST) start.
Viewers in the US can watch the game live on TNT.
Indian viewers can watch it live on Sony Six.
NBA fans can also watch the Playoffs live on NBA.com.