John Wall figured the credit went to the down-the-stretch defense displayed by his Washington Wizards.
Neither Dennis Schroder nor Coach Mike Budenholzer found any flaws with the way their Atlanta Hawks handled things late.
Either way, the odd manner in which Atlanta seemed to allow the final half-minute or so to slip away while trailing — not fouling Washington to try to extend things, passing around the ball instead of shooting it as the clock headed toward zero — left the Wizards on the verge of closing out the teams' Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.
Back at home, and back in charge, Bradley Beal scored 27 points, and Wall added 20 points and 14 assists, leading Washington to a 103-99 victory in Game 5 on Wednesday night for a 3-2 series lead.
"I thought they were going to play the foul game — or at least try to trap. But they let us run the clock down," Wall said, noting that he felt as if he and his teammates finished "with the best scrambling defense we had."
Schroder led the Hawks with 29 points, making a career-high-tying five 3s, and 11 assists. But after his basket from beyond the arc pulled Atlanta within 101-99 with 70 seconds left, Wall responded with a 21-foot pull-up jumper. Neither team scored the rest of the way.
"It was right there," Schroder said. "We've just got to be better in crunch time."
A miss followed from Paul Millsap, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds, but after Wall's jumper was off the mark, the Hawks never managed to put the ball in the basket — including sort of fiddling around as if they didn't realize they were trailing by four.
"We tried to get a clean look," Tim Hardaway Jr. said, "but they just did a good job of ... making it tough on us."
Celtics 108, Bulls 97: Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley scored 24 points apiece to help the Boston Celtics take a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series.
After the road team won each of the first four games, the Celtics won at home in Game 5 to earn a chance to eliminate the Bulls on Friday night in Chicago. A Bulls victory would force the series back to Boston for a decisive Game 7 on Sunday.
Dwyane Wade had 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Chicago.
But Wade and Robin Lopez were called for technical fouls 32 seconds apart with just under five minutes left, helping the Celtics to a 20-5 run that gave them a 104-89 lead.