The bad blood took a personal turn Saturday night, though, after Morris and the Wizards' blowout loss in Game 3 put the Hawks back in the series.
The Wizards and Hawks, two teams out of the NBA's Southeast Division, don't exactly like each other. Here are the three biggest takeaways from the Wizards' big win over the Hawks. Yes, there are matchups on the floor; John Wall vs.
"I just got to be more aggressive", Millsap said. It's better to have those three, four fouls in the fourth quarter where I can spend them just in case.
John Wall kept up his dazzling play in the series, scoring 29 points, but he was essentially a one-man team. Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics scored 33 points with six assists and five rebounds against the Chicago Bulls in a losing effort, producing a PIE score of 18.6.
Morris took offense, telling The Washington Post before Game 2, "Just see where he's at now". Dennis Schroder, Paul Millsap vs. Millsap channeled Rasheed Wallace - "It was just two guys playing hard, man, it was two guys playing hard" - but Morris didn't shy away from initiating the chirping.
The Hawks are by no means out of this series.
When one of his four 3-pointers caromed waywardly before ending up in the basket, Wall shrugged to the Verizon Center crowd as if to say, "just my luck".
The first-half was ugly for both sides, but the Hawks were happy to be within single digits at the break. Asked what he plans to do differently in Game 2, Millsap's answer was to the point.
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Boston Celtics' Isaiah Thomas, center, and teammates bow their heads during a moment of silence for Thomas' sister Chyna before a first-round NBA playoff basketball game against the Chicago Bulls Sunday, April 16, 2017, in Bos. Unsurprisingly, the contest was filled with tight refereeing and an abundance of fouls, which allowed the Hawks to stick around. It was a rough showing from Tim Hardaway Jr.
The lack of competence from the outside really undermined Atlanta's outstanding night at the free throw line.
"If we're going to jostle the whole series", the 6-foot-10 (2.08-meters) Morris said, "then that's what it's going to be".
If you like fouls, you would have loved this game. Brandon Jennings knocked down three jumpers to key a bench run and Washington used an 8-0 run to reclaim the lead at 86-84 with less than eight minutes remaining.
Washington, which trailed 78-74 entering the final period, won despite a total of only seven points from starting forwards Markieff Morris and Otto Porter Jr., who were both in foul trouble early.
In the third quarter Sunday, the Wizards did that to the Hawks. John Wall was enormous, not taking for a six minute stretch like he did on Sunday but instead contributing consistently throughout the game. Atlanta had a double-digit lead for the final 44:24 of the game.
Wall and Beal are the first pair of Wizards to each score at least 30 points in a playoff game since 2006 (Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas) and the first to do it in a playoff win since 1986 (Jeff Malone and Cliff Robinson).