Hawks, Grizzlies pull even in playoffs

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MVP  Stephen Curry No.30 of the Golden State Warriors is presented with the 2014-2015 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Trophy prior to the start of Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals of the NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. AFP PHOTO

MVP
Stephen Curry No.30 of the Golden State Warriors is presented with the 2014-2015 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Trophy prior to the start of Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals of the NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. AFP PHOTO

ATLANTA: The Atlanta Hawks downed the Washington Wizards 106-90 on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) to even their NBA second-round playoff series at one game apiece. DeMarre Carroll led the Hawks with 20 points and Al Horford and Paul Millsap scored 18 apiece for top-seeded Atlanta as they pulled level in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference set.

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“Defense was the difference,” Carroll said. “It is defense that gets us going, and the intensity was a lot better.”

Millsap and Horford combined for 11 assists, with Millsap pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds as the Hawks made the most of the injury absence of Wizards point guard John Wall.

Wall missed the game with a wrist injury suffered in game one of the series, in which the Wizards shocked the Hawks 104-98.

Wall, who had posted four straight double-doubles, was scratched from game two less than an hour before tip-off.

“The swelling was too much for him to handle today,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.

Ramon Sessions, starting in place of Wall, led the Wizards with 21 points. Bradley Beal finished with 20 points while Paul Pierce and Otto Porter had 15 points apiece for a Washington team that suffered their first defeat of these playoffs.

The Wizards will try to regain the series lead when they host game three on Saturday.

In Western Conference action, Memphis point guard Mike Conley shook off the lingering pain of a facial fracture to lead the Grizzlies to a 97-90 victory over top-seeded Golden State on the Warriors’ home floor in Oakland. The Grizzlies knotted the series at one game apiece as they handed the Warriors their first home defeat since late January.

Memphis will try to take the lead in the series when they host Game Three on Saturday.

AFP

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