Hawks strive to rebound from hole against Wizards

After he was relegated to the bench for the final 15 minutes of Game 2 Wednesday night, Atlanta big man Dwight Howard stood in the hallway at Verizon Center and answered almost every postgame question the same way: "I don't know".

Naturally, Howard's absence for the entire final period allowed Washington better opportunity inside.

The Wizards will now try to make sure there is no letup and keep the momentum going on the road. Afterward, Howard responded to three consecutive questions from reporters with "I don't know", then replied "No" to one, before going back to "I don't know".

The Wizards have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

After Game One, Millsap made a point of calling out what he considered overly aggressive play from the Wizards - "They were playing MMA (mixed martial arts)", he said.

After shooting six-of-18 after three quarters, Beal sank six of nine in the fourth, including two of his four from beyond the arc. "So we were prepared for it if it did happen in the series, and it has". I know this kid very well. "I bleed every day in practice, and I learned to play tough basketball, and he made me who I am today". When we do that, they obviously hurt us getting up and down the court.

The only player known to be out is Ian Mahinmi, Washington's backup center, who will miss at least Games 3 and 4 with a strained left calf.

"There's really no timetable, other than whenever he's ready, he's ready", Brooks said. He is improving, he's progressing well, but he's not ready to play.

In a rough-and-tumble, foul-filled game, Beal and backcourt mate John Wall took over in the fourth quarter Wednesday night, combining to score 20 of Washington's last 21 points in a 109-101 victory over the Atlanta Hawks that gave the Wizards a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference series.

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