Technically, the Wizards opened their current campaign Oct. 31. with a road game at Cleveland. But for all intents and purposes, they really didn't begin until Saturday, when Atlanta visited Verizon Center.

They had limped to a 5-28 record, including three losses against the Hawks. Atlanta needed overtime in two of the prior contests, but Washington had an advantage entering Saturday. Not only were the Hawks on the second night of back-to-back games, they were in town for the season debut of point guard John Wall, the Wizards' most dynamic player.

Sidelined with a left knee injury, he had to wait 33 miserable games before beginning his third year in the NBA. But he wasted no time in making his presence felt, especially when he put the Hawks away in the fourth quarter. Wall scored three of the Wizards' final five field goals (and assisted on one of them) in a 93-83 victory.

Washington, which miraculously beat Oklahoma City on Monday, became the NBA's final team to win two consecutive games this season.

"He's been looking forward to this day since the end of last year," coach Randy Wittman said in a postgame news conference. "No one expected it was going to be Jan. 12."