Al Horford
Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) makes the game-winning basket against Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) in the fourth quarter of Game 5 of their second-round NBA playoffs series, in Atlanta. The Hawks have a 3-2 series lead. Reuters/Jason Getz/USA Today Sports

Al Horford made two crucial plays in the final seconds of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals to lead the Atlanta Hawks to an 82-81 win over the Washington Wizards. The win gave Atlanta a 3-2 lead in the teams' best-of-seven NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series. The Hawks can finish off the Wizards in Game 6, set for Friday in Washington.

Horford made a steal that led to an easy fastbreak layup by DeMarre Caroll to give the Hawks a slim 80-78 lead with 14 seconds to go. After a clutch three-pointer from Paul Pierce gave Washington an 81-80 advantage with eight seconds left, Horford put back a miss from a Dennis Schroder drive and got the fourth last-second game-winner in this year's NBA playoffs.
Horford’s hustle put the Hawks nearer to an Eastern Conference final appearance. (The winner of this series will play the winner of the Cleveland-Chicago series to decide the Eastern Conference title.)

Previous game-winners in this postseason include clutch baskets from Pierce, Cleveland's LeBron James and Chicago's Derrick Rose -- all happening in the East semis.

Horford finished with a team-high 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting. Other Hawks starters combined to shoot just 17-of-42 field goals. Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague had 14 points apiece but had a combined 15 turnovers.

Still, the Hawks had enough to steal this one from the Wizards, who had a nine-point lead, 73-64, midway into the final quarter. The Hawks rallied and outscored the Wizards, 18-8 to finish the game thanks to timely hits from Horford and Schroder, who had a total of six points for the game but made two crucial baskets late.

Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. John Wall returned to the court, after missing recent games due to a wrist injury, and had 15 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals. Marcin Gortat had 14 points and Pierce finished with 11 markers.

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