By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Markieff Morris matched his season high with 23 points and Washington used balanced scoring and strong 3-point shooting to overcome the absence of John Wall in the Wizards’ 129-104 runaway victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.
Wall, selected to his fifth All-Star team as a reserve Tuesday, did not play due to a recurrence of soreness and swelling in his left knee.
He missed nine games earlier in the season with soreness and swelling in the knee.
The Wizards, who had lost two straight and four of five, dominated the Hawks. Washington pulled away with a strong start to the second quarter and never trailed.
Mike Scott, who began his career in Atlanta, had 19 points and Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. each had 18 for Washington.
Washington made 18 3-pointers, matching its high mark for the season.
Taurean Prince, Tyler Dorsey and Dewayne Dedmon each had 14 points to lead Atlanta.
The Wizards pulled away with an 11-2 run to open the second quarter. Kelly Oubre Jr. opened the quarter with a powerful left-handed jam and free throw. Oubre, who had 15 points, capped the run with a 3-pointer for a 38-20 lead.
Washington’s superior long-range shooting was decisive. While Atlanta made only 2 of its first 16 3-pointers, the Wizards made 10 of 17 in the first half and led 61-45 at the break. Morris made each of his three 3s in the half and four of five for the game.
It was only the latest display of poor offense for the Hawks. Coach Mike Budenholzer said before the game he’d like to see more up-tempo possessions led by Dennis Schroder.
“I would love more pace but this might be who we are,” Budenholzer said.
Coach Scott Brooks said the knee has bothered Wall the last two games. Brooks said Wall, who was with the team, wanted to play against the Hawks.
Tomas Satoransky made his first start of the season as the fill-in for Wall and sank a 3-pointer for the first points of the game. Satoransky had 11 points while making each of his three 3s for the game.
Wizards: Tim Frazier, who played behind Satoransky, had a season-high 12 assists. … Ian Mahinmi and Atlanta’s John Collins were called for fouls following a brief second-quarter collision and stare-down under the Hawks’ basket. No technical foul was called. … The Wizards, who made 18 of 32 3s, also made 18 3s against Houston on Dec. 29.
Hawks: Atlanta wore its alternate black and “volt” green City Edition uniforms. Schroder wore matching fluorescent green shoes. … The Hawks have lost three straight as they continue to hold the NBA’s worst record. … Ersan Ilyasova had 12 points.
Brooks said Wall’s toughness in playing with the sore knee the last two games is “pretty incredible.” Brooks said before the game he’d never have been able to overcome such an injury in his 10-year career as a player with six NBA teams.
“I marvel at his toughness and his ability to play through it all,” Brooks said. “I had to be completely healthy to get my four points and three assists and not have a bad meal on top of that and a good night’s sleep and a bunch of good players around me.”
Wizards: Host Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
Hawks: Host Timberwolves on Monday.