NBA: Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics back on top in East playoffs

Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince and Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. battle for a loose ball in the third quarter in game five of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center, on April 26, 2017.
Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince and Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. battle for a loose ball in the third quarter in game five of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center, on April 26, 2017.PHOTO: USA TODAY SPORTS

Washington (AFP) - The Washington Wizards regained control of their first-round National Basketball Association playoff series, defeating the Atlanta Hawks 103-99 on Wednesday with the help of a 27-point performance by Bradley Beal.

John Wall delivered 20 points and 14 assists as the fourth seeded Wizards lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series 3-2.

Otto Porter scored 17 points and sank nine of 10 free throws for the Wizards, who offset another poor shooting night from the three-point line by making 22 of 27 free throws.

The Hawks, who won Games Three and Four at home by an average of 14 points, host Game Six on Sunday.

In the later game, the Boston Celtics used a fourth quarter run to defeat the Chicago Bulls 108-97 and take a 3-2 lead in their series.

Isaiah Thomas scored 11 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and Avery Bradley also scored 24 for the Celtics, who won their third consecutive game.

Al Horford finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the top-seeded Celtics.

After losing the first two games, Boston can advance with a win on Friday in Chicago.

Dwyane Wade had 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Bulls.

Jimmy Butler and Robin Lopez added 14 points apiece for the Bulls, who were without injured point guard Rajon Rondo.