Instant Analysis: Wizards 88, Suns 79

Instant Analysis: Wizards 88, Suns 79
March 20, 2013, 12:30 am
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Wizards - Suns highlights 3.20

The Wizards lost another player in Emeka Okafor because of flu-like symptoms -- and Bradley Beal again -- but they still were able to beat the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on Wednesday. It was their first win here since 2006 and their first season sweep of the Suns, who they've beaten twice, since 2001-02. 

Player of the game: PG John Wall led with 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting and eight assists, but it was his clutch jump shots to close out the victory that mattered most. He was 3-for-5 in the fourth quarter.

The rundown: PF Nene scored seven points in the first quarter to get the Wizards (24-43) out to a good start, and they ended up shooting 61% in the first half as they led 59-45 at the break. The Wizards' shooting took a dip in the third quarter when they made just 4 of 17 shots, or 23.5%, but they still led 74-65 going into the fourth. The Suns (23-46) sliced the deficit to 82-77 on a jump shot from PF Luis Scola, but the Wizards responded as SF Martell Webster, Nene and Wall hit jumpers to push the lead back to 88-79 with less than two minutes left to stop the momentum. 

Turning point: Backup SF Trevor Ariza and C Kevin Seraphin combined to score 26 points in the first half as the Wizards came back from 26-25 and held the Suns without a field goal for nine minutes to led 59-45 at halftime.

Streak ends: The Wizards have been banged up all season, and Okafor had yet to miss a game until Wednesday. He was on his way to becoming the first player for the team to play all 82 games since Nick Young in 2008-09.

Streak continues: Webster went 3-for-5 from three-point range, making it the seventh consecutive game that he has made at least two.

Re-injured: Beal had played in the previous two games as a reserve, totaling 18 points, as he worked his way back from missing six games because of a left ankle sprain. He came off the bench again but left in the fourth quarter with six points and five rebounds.  Beal chased down Shannon Brown and was called for goal-tending. When he came down, his left ankle gave rolled. Beal screamed and stayed on the floor before walking off to the locker room. He didn't return. 

Replacement player: C Jason Collins didn't play much in place of Okafor. He was on the court for 17 minutes and didn't score but he had two blocks. His second one was significant as the Suns were making a late push. Jermaine O'Neal took a jumper at 3:55 but it was blocked by Collins. O'Neal recovered the ball but there was a 24-second clock violation for a turnover. The Wizards capitalized with a bucket.

Who’s next: Friday at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30 p.m. ET on CSN.  The Lakers  (36-33) lost to the Suns 99-76 on Monday but didn’t have Kobe Bryant because of an ankle injury. They’re expected to have Bryant and PF Pau Gasol (right foot) when they play Washington.