The Washington Bullets are a game away from making the 2nd round of the 2017 NBA playoffs. They defeated the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night at the Verizon Center. The final score in the game was 103-99 in a game that was competitive throughout. The result gives the Bullets a 3-2 series lead as the series shifts back to Atlanta. The Hawks have won both of their home games so far in the series, so they do have a reasonable chance of extending the first-round series the entire distance.

Dennis Schroder lost but scored 29

The game-five high scorer was Dennis Schroder of Atlanta. He scored 29 points in a losing effort while Bradley Beal leads all Washington scorers.

John Wall, Washington's star point guard, had just 20 points in the game however he did contribute meaningfully with 14 assists. Paul Millsap played well for Atlanta as he scored 21 points and had 11 rebounds for a double-double.

A couple of clear weak points in Atlanta's game five was a lack of bench scoring and a lack of production from center Dwight Howard. The Hawks went 11 deep in the game. However, no one that came off the bench hit double digits for scoring. Kent Bazemore was most effective from that Point Of View as he scored 6 points in 22 minutes, a points-per-minute ratio that isn't all that helpful. Ersan Ilyasova had six rebounds off of the bench, but his points total was low in eight minutes of play as he made just one two-point field goal.

Dwight Howard logged 28 minutes and managed ten rebounds. However, that wasn't a team-high from that point of view as Millsap had 11. Furthermore, Howard had just 5 points in the game, a total that would be considered low for a starting center in a lot of NBA games.

Atlanta will be on the brink

The game certainly contained a fair amount of pressure.

If Washington had fallen, then they would be looking at a must-win situation on the road. As it is, Atlanta's the team that is now facing that scenario. They will need to win game six at home and then find a way to win on the road to close the series. Given that they are 0-3 as visitors in the series to date, the Washington Bullets indeed appear to have a significant advantage with the 3-2 lead.

The winner will advance to the second round to face either the Boston Celtics or the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference's playoffs. Boston and Chicago, at the time of writing, had not started their own game five, however, they will have completed it by the end of Wednesday evening's action.

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