Dennis Schroder was a few inches from bringing his Atlanta Hawks within one point of the Wizards in the fourth quarter Friday night. Then John Wall happened. And happened. And happened.
He blocked Schroder’s breakaway layup from behind. He scored on the other end. He scored again, and again, and again. He wound up with 19 points in the fourth quarter, and 42 in the game — one of only four players in franchise history with at least 40 in a playoff game, along with Elvin Hayes, Kevin Grevey and Gilbert Arenas.
Wall scored Washington’s final 13 points, in what has to go down as among the best clutch performances by a Wizards player over the last two decades. And he punctuated it all with a wave goodbye to the Hawks’ home crowd.
John Wall buries Hawks, waves bye bye to the city of Atlanta and Julio Jones pic.twitter.com/Keb39KztCV
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) April 29, 2017
Wall joined Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only players with at least 40 points, 8 assists and a win in a game 6 or 7 over the past 30 years, according to Basketball Reference. But that’s a fairly clinical way of describing something far more raw: by far the best player on the court, deciding that it was time for everyone else to fade away.
We’re admittedly starting from a low bar here. But there haven’t been many more memorable moments in the last 20 years of Wizards basketball than that fourth quarter, and that wave.