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Suns 99, Wizards 93

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WASHINGTON — Guard Goran Dragic scored 25 points and backcourt partner Eric Bledsoe had 23 as the Phoenix Suns defeated the Washington Wizards 99-93 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.

Swingman Gerald Green had 18 points for the Suns (43-29), who made 14 of 28 3-point attempts.

Phoenix snapped a three-game losing streak to the Wizards and won for the sixth time in seven games at Washington despite nearly blowing a 25-point lead.

Phoenix entered Wednesday in ninth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks.

Dragic made 11 of 17 shots including three 3-pointers. Bledsoe also hit three from beyond the arc with his final one coming moments after his former University of Kentucky teammate, guard John Wall, made a layup to pull the Wizards within 93-90 with 1:30 remaining.

Wall scored 29 points and center Marcin Gortat, traded by Phoenix to Washington before the season opened, had 17 for the Wizards (36-35).

The long-range attack started in the first half as the Suns sank 8 of 14 attempts from beyond the arc for a 54-44 lead, closing the second quarter on a 12-3 run. The halftime break didn’t slow momentum as the Suns opened the third quarter by outscoring Washington 21-6 for a 75-50 advantage with 5:27 remaining.

Washington countered with a 17-2 run, entered the fourth down 10 points and trailed 83-79 with 8:16 remaining following Wall’s three-point play. After Phoenix pushed the lead back to 12 points, Wall tallied eight straight for Washington before the crowd of 18,805.

Green made 3 of 4 free throws following Bledsoe’s 3-pointers. Phoenix hit 11 of 12 free throws while Washington finished 13 of 21.

Wizards guard Bradley Beal suffered a right hip pointer late in the second quarter after landing on the court while diving for the ball. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 draft went to the locker room and did not start the second half. He returned midway through the third quarter and finished with eight points.

Shortly before Beal exited, the Suns started what eventually turned into a 12-3 run over the final 3:53 of the first half. Dragic and Green drained 3-pointers in that stretch with Green scoring 12 in the second quarter.

Bledsoe had seven assists along with seven of Phoenix’s 19 turnovers.

NOTES: Washington won the first meeting 101-95 at Phoenix on Jan. 24. … Wizards C Marcin Gortat made 6 of 7 shots from the field for 13 points in the first half. … Suns rookie C Alex Len played his first game as a professional in Washington, just a few miles from where he starred at the University of Maryland. … Over his previous 10 games, Wizards G John Wall averaged 9.2 assists, but an NBA-worst 4.9 turnovers. … Phoenix returns home to face the New York Knicks on Friday. Only four of the Suns’ final 10 are at home. … Washington hosts the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers on Friday.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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