Kuzma’s 29-Point Game Leads Wizards’ Blowout Win Over Hawks

Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards, NBA Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Kyle Kuzma’s 29-point performance powered the Washington Wizards to a dominant 127-99 win over the Atlanta Hawks during Saturday’s NBA action, marking their most significant victory this season. The win on Saturday ended the Wizards’ six-game losing streak and improved their dismal road record.

Jordan Poole contributed 20 points in the victory, with Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. commending the team’s energy and offensive creativity. Washington’s defense was particularly effective, limiting the Hawks to their lowest shooting percentage of the season at just 34%.

“I thought we really played well tonight,” Unseld said. “Our overall energy and our creativity offensively. We played with the right amount of force on both sides.”

This loss was a stark deviation for the Hawks, who failed to reach 100 points for the first time this season, halting their 94-game streak of scoring at least 100 points, one of the longest in NBA history. The Hawks, who had previously dominated the Wizards in their past matchups, faced a significant 28-point deficit by the end of the third quarter.

“It can be deflating when you get the looks you want,” Young said. “We’re getting good shots and they are not going in. The first half, we were still playing pretty good defense, but also, we were missing shots we’re supposed to be making. It gives them a lift, too.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards, Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks Updates

Trae Young, despite scoring 21 points, struggled with his shooting, reflecting the Hawks’ overall offensive challenges. They also faced physical exhaustion, having played the Pacers the night before, which Young cited as a factor in their performance.

“We didn’t have a quarter over 30 (points). That’s not like us,” Young said. “We didn’t score 100. That’s not like us. It was just one of those nights. We played last night against (the Pacers), a team that runs a lot, and I guarantee (the Wizards) knew that, and they pushed the pace. They were physical and pushed it right back to us.”

Deni Avdija shone for the Wizards with 19 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists, playing a crucial role in defending against Young. Meanwhile, Hawks guard Dejounte Murray, amidst trade rumors, ended his streak of 20-plus point games due to a hamstring issue.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards, Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks Updates

The Wizards, previously last in points allowed per game, executed a strong defensive strategy against the Hawks, who are known for their high-scoring offense. This approach was particularly effective in the first half, where Atlanta shot just 31% from the field and 28% from the three-point line.

The Wizards seized control in the third quarter with a 24-11 run, maintaining a double-digit lead for the last 23 minutes of the game. Unseld highlighted the team’s ability to maintain their lead without allowing the Hawks to regain momentum.

“At times, we’ve had issues (playing with leads),” Unseld said. “We can get a little momentum, and then we can have one of those lulls and let people back into the game. We didn’t do that tonight. We stayed aggressive. We put our foot down and stretched that lead, which was big for us.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards, Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks Updates

Looking ahead, the Wizards will host the Detroit Pistons on Monday, while the Hawks are set to play the San Antonio Spurs on Monday afternoon in their annual home game honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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