Goran Dragic led the Phoenix Suns to a 106-98 victory over a fatigued Washington Wizards club on Wednesday night on national television.
Washington (31-16) had just played on Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, a 98-92 comeback victory, and you could tell from the get-go that their legs just weren’t there.
Phoenix (27-20) took advantage of this and ran the Wizards out of the building in the first half as they held a 56-39 lead at the half. Dragic and Co. pushed the lead to 18 at one point in the fourth quarter, but Otto Porter had other plans.
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Porter chipped the Phoenix lead to four points at 101-97 with just over one minute to play in the game. Markieff Morris nailed a jumper over Kris Humphries with 23.7 ticks left to push the lead to 103-97, but Phoenix would not squander the lead in the late-going.
Dragic carried the evenly distributed Suns offensive attack with 20 points and added two steals in the process. Isaiah Thomas came off the bench to score 18 points in just 20 minutes.
P.J. Tucker knocked down a pair of three-pointers to open up the fourth quarter for the Suns and finished with a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Brandan Wright returned from injury and had what may be his most efficient game as a member of the Suns as he racked up 13 points on 6-7 shooting, grabbed five rebounds, and posted a +12 plus/minus rating.
Humphries played exceptionally well for Washington. He started in place of Nene, who was out with an injury, and had eight points and 12 rebounds at the half. The second half was not as kind to Humphries however as he only added three points and three rebounds to his total.
Jan 28, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Washington Wizards forward Kris Humphries (center) drives to the basket between Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris (left) and P.J. Tucker in the first quarter at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Former-Sun Marcin Gortat scored a team-high 14 points and nabbed eight boards in his second game back in Phoenix since being traded in preseason last year.
Washington accomplished something that most other teams are unable to do against the Suns. The Wizards’ bench scored more points than the Suns’ bench by a final tally of 40-32.
In addition to having their bench being outscored by the Wizards, the Suns were also out-rebounded 50-41. The defining factor ended up being points off of turnovers however with Phoenix forcing 13 turnovers resulting in 21 points, while Washington only forced 11 turnovers that resulted in just 13 points.
With the victory Phoenix sweeps the season series over the Wizards, who currently sits at the number two seed in the Eastern Conference. In the first contest between these two clubs Washington finished with just 11 assists and on Wednesday they had just 13 assists. In case you were wondering, John Wall averages just north of 10 assists per game on his own, but had just six against the Suns tonight.
Jan 28, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Washington Wizards guard John Wall reacts in the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix will be back in action with their second consecutive nationally televised game on ESPN as they close out their franchise-record eight-game home-stand against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MST.