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Pierce’s buzzer-beater lifts Wiz past Hawks 103-101

WASHINGTON (AP) — Paul Pierce’s banked-in 21-foot jumper at the buzzer gave the Washington Wizards a 103-101 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night, even with an injured John Wall reduced to cheerleading, and a 21-point lead that had dwindled down to nothing.

The Wizards lead the Eastern Conference semifinal series 2-1.

Washington was missing Wall, its All-Star point guard, for a second consecutive game because of a broken left hand, but it was the Hawks who seemed out of sorts most of the evening.

The Wizards led by 21 with less than 10 minutes left — and then held off Atlanta, which used a 17-0 run to get within three points with less than 3 1/2 minutes remaining and tied the game on Mike Muscala’s 3-pointer with 14.1 seconds to go.

Game 4 is Monday at Washington.

It was the second straight day a bank shot at the buzzer won an NBA playoff game. Derrick Rose hit a banked 3 to give Chicago a 99-96 win over Cleveland on Saturday.

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