Wizards' last-gasp basket waved off, Hawks advance with Game 6 win

NBA Basketball

The buzzer was unkind to the Wizards once again.

Just when it looked like Paul Pierce’s heroics would keep Washington alive for at least a few more minutes Friday night, an instant replay review sent the Hawks to the Eastern Conference finals.

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A desperate, fadeaway 3-pointer from Pierce that would have sent Game 6 to overtime was waved off by the officials after they checked the monitor, giving the Hawks a 94-91 win. Replays showed Pierce was perhaps a couple tenths of a second late in releasing the ball.

With that, the two best teams in the Eastern Conference during the regular season will meet for the right to go to the NBA Finals, as Atlanta moves on to face LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

It’s the farthest the Hawks have advanced in the playoffs since the 1969-70 season; they had lost their last 13 times reaching the conference semifinal round.

MORE: Game stats | NBA video

The Hawks led by 15 points midway through the third quarter and by as many as 10 early in the fourth, but Bradley Beal and Co. chipped away and took the lead inside the final four minutes.

Atlanta went nearly five minutes without scoring before Paul Millsap finally converted to briefly put the Hawks back on top with 1:47 to play. The Wizards’ cause took a hit when they missed 3 of 4 free throws, and DeMarre Carroll made a pair of late layups, both assisted by Jeff Teague, to give him a team-high 25 points for the game.

Given a couple more days to heal his broken hand and wrist, Wall look more comfortable than he had in his return to action in Game 5. He spent more time on the court than any other Wizards player and settled into his accustomed playmaking role — but also reverted to being a spotty shooter from the field.

Wall made just 7 of 21 from the floor, finishing with 20 points to go with his 13 assists. Beal was the best offensive player on the floor finishing with 29 points

, but it wasn’t enough.