John Wall is the only Wizards player in double figures at halftime: (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

Here are the best and worst moments from the Wizards Game 3 against Atlanta. 

Best Wall: John Wall was a point away from three consecutive 30-point playoff performances Saturday night. The all-star point guard had 29 points, missed just two field goals and had seven assists in 32 minutes as the only force driving the Wizards. Washington’s other starters had 30 points combined.

Worst defense: The Wizards’s defense never showed up Saturday and allowed the Hawks to shoot 49.4 percent from the floor after shooting 40.5 and 43.6 percent in Games 1 and 2.

Worst Millsap: Worst meaning most dangerous for the Wizards. Paul Millsap not only led Atlanta with 29 points Saturday, but he also finally took an edge in his matchup against Markieff Morris both on and off the court. Morris ended with nine points on 4-of-14 shooting from the floor. The two forwards have been trading jabs all series, and Saturday night Morris added another entry. In his postgame interview he called Millsap a “crybaby.” “You get all the calls if you’re a crybaby,” Morris said.

Worst hometown streak broken: The Wizards’ 116-98 loss makes this first-round Eastern Conference series 2-1, and here in Washington, breaks an eight-game win streak for DC’s pro sports teams since Tuesday. The Capitals won their playoff home game against Toronto, 2-1, on Friday and the Nationals beat the Phillies, 3-1.

Worst three-point shooting: The Hawks had a promising start and looked to have regained some of their three-point shooting strength, but fizzled down the stretch. The Wizards shot 24.1 percent from beyond the arc and Atlanta shot 36 percent as the series continues with little sign of any long-range shooting prowess whatsoever. Bradley Beal was 0-for-6 from beyond the arc.

Worst Jason Smith: The Wizards’ backup big man fouled out while defending Paul Millsap with just over seven minutes to play and Washington down 14, taking yet another big out for the Wizards.

Best Jennings: Backup point guard Brandon Jennings sparked a huge fourth quarter for the Wizards’ in Game 2, and Saturday he had an equally impactful start in the fourth.  After nailing a three-pointer to start, Jennings racked up seven points in less than three minutes.  With 9:21 to play, he is the Wizards’ second-leading scorer with 13 points, after Wall (29).

Best bench: Scott Brooks put his reserves on the floor to start the fourth quarter and they jumped out to 12-3 lead including a three-pointer each from Brandon Jennings and Kelly Oubre Jr. The three was Oubre’s first made field goal of the game.

Worst back slide: The Wizards tried to stay alive in the second quarter and matched the Hawks 26-26, but the third was a different story. Washington trails 90-67 with one starting forward (Otto Porter Jr.) out of the game with a strained neck and Paul Millsap running amok on the Wizards’ backcourt. The power forward has 24 points for Atlanta.

Worst foul: Jason Smith was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul late in the third after he hit Millsap in the face while coming down from an attempted block. Millsap’s made free throw put Atlanta back up by 22 points.

Worst injury: Otto Porter Jr. left the court and went back to the locker room after taking a hit to the chest in the third quarter. The starting forward was clutching what looked like his left pectoral and shoulder as he walked off the floor, but was eventually ruled out of the game with a strained neck.

Best run: Washington pulled off a 10-2 run in the third quarter to get trim Atlanta’s lead to 13 points. The streak was capped by a three-pointer from Otto Porter Jr. with a sweet assist from Wall, reminding Wizards fans of better times.

Worst technical: Dennis Schroder swatted John Wall in the back of the head as the Washington point guard pulled up for a jumper at the top of the key with just over nine minutes left in the third quarter. The ball went in, but Wall was, shall we say, less than pleased. The result was double technical for both guards.

Worst half: The Wizards trail, 64-46, at halftime in Atlanta, with Washington gifting the Hawks their biggest lead of the series by far (they never led by more than eight points in Game 1 and seven points in Game 2). Dennis Schroder has 20 points for Atlanta and Paul Millsap has 15 points and nine rebounds as the Hawks are shooting 55.3 percent from the field. The only scorer in double figures for Washington is John Wall, who acted as the Wizards’ life support in the first half as they shot just 40 percent from the field. He has 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor to go with four assists.

Best stat: The only stat in which Washington is beating Atlanta is fast-break points, pretty much all thanks to John Wall. The Wizards outscored the Hawks 13-4 on fast breaks thanks to moves like this, in which Wall sliced through traffic for a layup with 44 second left in the half. The grin he unleashed as he jogged back on defense was the happiest any Wizards player has looked all night.

Worst stat: The Wizards and Hawks were two of the best in the NBA at forcing turnovers during the regular season, and early Saturday, that scale tipped heavily in Atlanta’s favor. Washington had eight turnovers to the Hawks’ four midway through the second quarter.

Worst sharing: Washington Coach Scott Brooks wants his offense to be pass heavy, but the Wizards’ ball movement on offense is stale, at best. The Hawks have 14 assists to the Wizards’ 5.

Best front court: After the Wizards’ starting frontcourt of Markieff Morris, Otto Porter Jr. and Marcin Gortat all outplayed their matchups — Paul Millsap, Taurean Prince and Dwight Howard — during the first two games of the series, Atlanta’s front court had outscored Washington’s 21-7 with just over five minutes left in the second quarter. Morris didn’t make his first shot until 7:50 remained in the half, and Millsap, with whom he’s traded quips in the media all series, had a pretty emphatic block on the power forward. Just don’t call either of them a stretch-four.

Best point guard: For the first time this series … that would be Dennis Schroder (so far). The Hawks’ floor general was the first player in double figures Saturday, and with three minutes left in the first quarter had more points (12) than the entire Wizards roster (10). He had missed just one shot from the floor and helped Atlanta out to a 20-point lead late in the first. On the other end of the court John Wall, who had back-to-back 32 point performances in the first two games of the series, led the Wizards with 7.

Best takeover: Schroder who? John Wall is not to be forgotten. As the Wizards’ miserable opening period was coming to a close, the Wizards leader went on a 7-0 tear that started with a Wall dunk on Kent Bazemore in transition featuring a little behind-the-back dribble along the way. Wall cut Atlanta’s lead to 18 at the end of the first quarter.

Worst start: The Wizards made just 1 of 6 shots from the floor to kick off the first game of the series in Atlanta. Bradley Beal was the only Wizard on the scoreboard with nine minutes left in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the Hawks were flying, having made 5 of 7 from the field. Atlanta even found its long-lost three-point shot early in the first quarter, with Taurean Prince, Dennis Schroder and Tim Hardaway Jr. each connecting from beyond the arc.

For full coverage of this series, click here.

Game information

Game 3: Washington Wizards (East’s No. 4 seed, 49-33) vs. Atlanta Hawks (East’s No. 5 seed, 43-39)
Date and time: Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Channel: CSN, TNT
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta
Game 1 result: at Wizards 114, Hawks 107
Game 2 result: at Wizards 109, Hawks 101
Regular season series: Wizards 3, Hawks 1

Remaining schedule

Game 4 at Atlanta: Monday, 8 p.m. (CSN, TNT)
Game 5 at Washington (if necessary): Wednesday, TBD (CSN)
Game 6 at Atlanta (if necessary): Friday, April 28, TBD (CSN)
Game 7 at Washington (if necessary): Sunday, April 30, TBD (TBD)

What you need to know

>> The story of Game 2 may well have been the referees. Endless, constant fouls turned the game into a near-three-hour slog, with the Hawks shooting 38 free throws and Washington firing 33. The crowd provided its evaluation intermittently, chanting, “Refs, you suck!” throughout the night.

>> Brandon Jennings played an unlikely hero for the Wizards in Game 2. Jennings’s number was called with just more than two minutes left in the third with Washington in dire straits, down four points and relying on a short rotation with four players — including its two starting forwards — in foul trouble. Jennings had played 15 minutes in Sunday’s Game 1 win at Verizon Center and come up with five assists, but no points and a -10 plus/minus rating. But three days later, just more than a minute into the fourth quarter, the backup point guard hit a step-back jumper to cut the Wizards’ deficit to two. Just more than a minute after that, he hit two consecutive jump shots, got a defensive stop, and dished to a cutting Jason Smith for the game-tying dunk. “Some nights, it might be your night,” he said. “But when your number’s called, just do what you have to do for the team.”

>> In good times and bad, the Wizards are an excitable bunch. When your best player is an ebullient point guard, when a moody center nicknamed the Polish Hammer mans the middle and when your power forward creates a “Death Row DC” alter ego, you’re not going to be a laid-back team. Raw emotion fuels and hinders the Wizards. During his first season in Washington, Coach Scott Brooks has attempted to channel that passion, especially with John Wall, writes Jerry Brewer.

>> Once again, Bradley Beal bounced back from a rough night, torching the fourth quarter of Game 2 with a 6-of-9 shooting performance (16 points). Beal finished with 31 points (12 of 27 from the floor with four three-pointers), his second career 30-plus total in the playoffs. And he credited his superstar teammate. “It’s great,” Beal said, responding to John Wall’s show of support late in the game. “Especially John, more than anybody, he doesn’t care if I shoot the ball 100 times in a game or how many I make or miss.”

>> The key to the Wizards’ Game 2 win? Having their five best players on the floor together, which was more difficult than you’d think. Finally, with the starting unit together through the final 4:35 of the fourth quarter, Washington turned a tie game into a 2-0 series lead. And just like in Game 1, John Wall was the best player on the floor.

>> The local teams took turns congratulating themselves Wednesday for their second-ever triple play, the rare “D.C. sports trifecta.” But it didn’t come without some heart-stopping moments. “They make you work hard for your fun, though, don’t they?” wondered The Post’s Dan Steinberg.

>> John Wall was incredible in the third quarter of Game 1, but he might have been even better than you think: The Wizards outscored the Hawks by 43.5 net points per 100 possessions in that frame with Wall scoring in transition, off the pick and roll and on drives to the basket. The guard’s effective field goal percentage (77.8 percent) was light-years ahead of his regular season performance (48.2 eFG percent).

>> A die-hard Wizards fan was crushed by John Wall, who was going for a loose ball late in Game 1. His reaction? “I took most of the impact for him because we can’t afford to have him being hurt, especially with Atlanta being such a dirty team. … I saved our best player, and if that’s what it takes, thank God.”

>> Marcin Gortat was struggling badly but recently he has looked more like the player who once anchored a very good Wizards starting lineup. And all it took was for his backup to get hurt. Gortat’s mini resurgence — in Game 82 of the regular season, he made 8-of-9 shots for 16 points against Miami and he outplayed Dwight Howard in Game 1, scoring 14 points (7 of 11) with 10 rebounds and two blocks — comes as Ian Mahinmi recovers from a left calf strain.

>> The most interesting comments after Washington’s Game 1 win over Atlanta likely came via Hawks star Paul Millsap. “The difference in the game was we were playing basketball,” he said, “and they were playing MMA.” The Wizards have not attracted any sort of reputation as a brutish team this season, and they spoke of Sunday’s debut as a normal affair, spiced with postseason intensity but nothing remarkable. Nonetheless, Markieff Morris later promised “double MMA.” So there’s that.

>> Markieff Morris gave the Wizards their social media nickname, Death Row DC. It’s kind of an inside joke. It’s also kind of serious. “Death Row; that’s the type of team we are, that’s the type of team we want to be,” Bradley Beal said. Which is what, exactly? “A physical team that will kind of trash talk you a little bit, and that just don’t take no BS,” Beal said. “That’s pretty much it.” And Morris’s prints are already stamped all over this first-round playoff series.

>> This NBA playoff run is the most important of John Wall’s career, writes Post columnist Jerry Brewer. It could shatter the false perception that he’s a player who is not quite elite. It could elevate Wall, 26, to a level of respect that he’ll boldly tell you is overdue.

>> How do the Wizards and Hawks match up? We break it down, position by position.

>> The Wizards’ stunning turnaround from a 2-8 start to a 49-win season began during a 1-2 road trip in December. “One thing I’ll say about this team, nobody threw coach under the bus,” John Wall said. “ … Then we started to have a stretch of a lot of home games when we started to win and win and win and finding a way to win a couple games on the road. I think that’s what built our confidence back and then we were like, ‘We’re a pretty damn good team.’ ” Here are the five most important games of the Wizards’ season.

>> The Wizards’ last trip to the postseason ended in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The team that jettisoned Washington? The Atlanta Hawks. This isn’t 2015, however, and the Wizards are welcoming this playoff series against the Hawks. Part of that is the addition of Markieff Morris to keep up with four-time all-star Paul Millsap, who has given the Wizards plenty of trouble in the past. “We’ve been going at it all year,” Morris said about playing Millsap. “It’s a matchup I’m definitely looking forward to in the playoffs. We’re going to get it in, for sure. It’s going to be a good one.”

>> When the Wizards began the season by losing eight of their first 10 games, Ernie Grunfeld‘s 14-year tenure as the team’s general manger was quickly called into question. Washington is now 49-33 and has home-court advantage for the first round. The team’s success is in no small part due to Grunfeld, who has held an unshakable belief in the Wizards’ core of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr., as well as the organization’s long-held strategy, referred to simply as “The Plan.” Throughout all the ups and downs, Grunfeld remained patient, and now he’s reaping the results.

>> Scott Brooks calls D.C. a “magical” city. You’ll be forgiven for thinking Brooks might have a bit of magic about himself. Maybe his first 10 months in this city could have gone better, but it’s hard to imagine how. He helped turn a .500 team with a downtrodden fan base into an Eastern Conference heavyweight, boasting the best record in the East since Dec. 1. He won Washington’s first division title in 38 years, clinched home-court advantage in the opening round for the first time in 38 years, and flirted with 50 wins for the first time in 38 years.

>> The Hawks simply don’t have the personnel to keep John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. in check. But the Hawks pose a threat inside with the frontcourt combo of Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard, and if Atlanta should win, it will have more to do with how that pair dominates the paint than whether the Hawks stop the Wizards’ trio.

>> Post NBA reporter Tim Bontemps broke down all of the NBA’s first-round matchups ahead of Saturday’s kickoff. He predicted the Wizards would win in five games but would need John Wall and Bradley Beal to again play like they have in past postseasons.

>> We’ve got good news and bad news: Washington is the 13th team, including the 1987-88 Bullets, to qualify for the playoffs after starting 2-8 or worse since the NBA playoffs expanded to 16 teams in 1983-84. Now for the bad news: Teams that turned their seasons around after 10 games typically haven’t fared well in the postseason. In fact, the 2003-04 Miami Heat is the only team among the previous 12 to reach the postseason after starting 2-8 or worse to win even one series.

>> You know who does fear the Wizards? The Cavaliers, at least according to Charles Barkley. The TNT analyst and former star suggested Cleveland might actually prefer to finish second because it means it would avoid the mighty Washington Wizards until the Eastern Conference finals. No, really.

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