NBA News Wire

Wizards wear down Suns

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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PHOENIX — Two nights after taking down the Indiana Pacers and clicking on all cylinders, the Phoenix Suns had very little left in the tank for the opportunistic Washington Wizards.

Forward Trevor Ariza scored 23 points and guard Bradley Beal had nine points in the fourth quarter, including two late baskets, as the Wizards held Phoenix to 38 points in the second half and won 101-95 on Friday night.

Guard John Wall had 18 points and 12 assists and forward Nene added 18 points as the Wizards forced 21 turnovers — seven in the third quarter — and pulled out a game that featured 19 lead changes with neither team ahead by more than eight points.

The Wizards forced the Suns, who averaged an NBA-low 11 turnovers per game in January, to 21 and turned them into 24 points on the other end.

Washington also grabbed 19 offensive rebounds and had a 20-14 edge in fast-break points against Phoenix, which led the NBA in that category.

The Suns, who led 57-51 at the half, have lost 12 of the 15 games in which they failed to reach 100 points.

“When we press up defensively and get stops, it ignites our offense and it gets me going,” Ariza said. “Beal came off the bench cold and made big shots that definitely helped us.”

The Wizards reached .500 or the fifth time this season. They will try to get above it for the first time since they were 2-1 against the Jazz on Saturday in Utah. Washington has won eight of its last 10 road games.

The Suns rallied from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 93 on a hook shot by center Miles Plumlee with 2:43 left. Forward P.J. Tucker missed two free throws that would have put Phoenix up with 2:17 left and Beal nailed a 3-pointer off a Wall feed with 2:03 to go to put the Wizards ahead for good.

“Big-time player,” Wall said of Beal. “It’s great when you get going and different guys can make baskets down the stretch. We played a two-man game and ran Beal and Nene off screens. Beal made a 3 and a big pull-up for us.”

The Suns got back to 97-95 on a Plumlee dunk with 41.9 seconds left, but Beal answered with a 15-foot pull-up jumper with 26.9 seconds left and finished the game with a driving dunk with 8.9 seconds left.

“It was a bunch of things. We didn’t play well at all,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “It’s probably been six or seven games since we had a big turnover night like that, and then they get 19 offensive rebounds and all that stuff adds up. It was a tough night.”

Suns guard Goran Dragic had 19 points and 11 assists and forward Channing Frye added 16 points — 12 in the first half of the first quarter.

The Suns hit 11 of 16 3-pointers on Wednesday night against the Pacers — their best shooting percentage night behind the arc in more than five years. But the Suns missed 15 of 22 3-pointers against the Wizards and 11 of 12 in the second half.

“I feel bad because we let this game get away,” Dragic said. “We had a lot of turnovers that they scored off of, and it was always a fast break. It was a tight game at the end and when Tuck missed two free throws and they came back with that 3-pointer, we didn’t come back.”

NOTES: The Suns made 11 of 16 3-pointers in their 124-100 win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. Their 68.8 shooting percentage behind the arc was the best in a game since Phoenix went 15 of 21 (71.4 percent) in a win over Seattle in 2008. … Wizards C Marcin Gortat averaged 13.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 189 games during his three seasons with the Suns. His 54.5 shooting percentage from the field was fifth in team history for players who were in at least 150 games. … The Wizards evened the 116-game series at 58-58. … The up-tempo Suns came in averaging 11.5 turnovers in 11 January games, the best in the NBA. They are forcing 16.0 turnovers during that span and averaging 19.3 points off the turnovers. … The Wizards came in 7-2 in their last nine road games. Suns coach Jeff Hornacek on the Wizards: “They’ll go to their fourth or fifth option, which comes late in the shot clock. That when we can’t relax, we have to play all 24 seconds of defense.”

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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