Hawks focus on re-signing Millsap following first-round exit

The Washington Wizards regained control of their first round National Basketball Association playoff series, defeating the Atlanta Hawks 103-99 Wednesday with the help of a 27-point performance by Bradley Beal.

That's when Wall chased down Atlanta point guard Dennis Schroder, erasing his fast-break layup, then scoring on one of his own, pushing the lead back to 95-90. In the other four games combined, he's taken just 18 shots and scored 23 points.

It's win or go home for the Hawks.

The duo finished the series with 332 of the team's 640 total points in six games, 51.8 percent of Washington's offense. If it gets out of hand, I am guessing it does in Atlanta's favor.

Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) works against Atlanta Hawks forward Kent Bazemore (24) in the second half of Game 6 of a first-round NBA playoff basketball series Friday, April 28, 2017, in Atlanta.

"I'm definitely recruiting Millsap to come back", Bazemore said, adding it is "probably smart" for Millsap to take advantage of the opportunity to "sign a big contract".

- John Wall is the first player to score 40 points in a series-clinching win since Dwyane Wade (41) did in the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. the Pacers. Game 1 is on Sunday in Boston. The rate of success (wins) is largely dependent upon which team makes the best adjustments from game to game to outsmart their opponents. It's been an absolute breakout campaign for Beal, dropping 26 per night in the playoffs to follow up his career-high 23.1 points per game during the regular season. Wall outscored the Hawks, 19-17, in the final quarter, while also assisting on a clutch jumper by Beal and making the defensive play of the game with a chasedown block on Dennis Schroder.

Washington never trailed in Game 6, building a 22-point cushion early in the third quarter. Depth didn't cost the Wizards this first round series, but it was a major reason that Atlanta was able to make it a competitive one for as long as it lasted. Once the crowd got into it, the Hawks dug into the Wizards defensively and forced multiple turnovers, eventually cutting the Wizards' lead down to just 3.

Washington's Markieff Morris picked up No. 4 after 2½ minutes of the third quarter and didn't return until there were less than 6 minutes remaining in the fourth.

Atlanta has proven that it can contend with the Wizards in this series.

Now all eyes are on John Wall and Isaiah Thomas. The Hawks big man has basically been a no-show in the series except for Game 4, when he had 16 points and 15 rebounds. But in games 3 and 4, the Hawks combated the Wizards' willingness to go under every screen by setting up shop closer to the basket, which allowed for Atlanta's ball-handlers to finish easier looks. The other thing that worked out well for them in the first round was each player's improved floater game.

After claiming the top seed in the East two years ago and reaching the conference final, Atlanta has steadily regressed. And Taurean Prince was held to four points in this game.