September 16, 2019

Washington Wizards Game 26 Review: Phoenix Ends Wizards Streak

SUNS END WIZARDS SIX-GAME WIN STREAK

In a rare loss at home, the Washington Wizards fell to the Phoenix Suns 104-92 inside the friendly confines of the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

By the time the final buzzer had sound, two different six-game streaks had come to an end. For the Wizards, their winning streak had been snapped while the Suns losing streak came to a close with the win.

Against a lesser opponent, the Wizards had a difficult time putting together much of anything. Phoenix’s guard combination of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic totaled 33 points and 15 rebounds. The Wizards 1-2 punch of Bradley Beal and John Wall, however, managed a combined 28 points and 12 rebounds.

At the half, the two teams were locked at 50-50, but Phoenix outscored the Wizards 29-21 in the third quarter and at one point held a 13-point advantage. Down the stretch, the Wizards struggled to shoot the ball, especially from behind the arc. On the night, Washington made just three three-pointers.

The dominant guard play on the part of the Suns, however, would be enough to push them to victory and end the Wizards’ hopes of winning 20 games faster than any other team in franchise history.

Next up, the Wizards will welcome the Chicago Bulls (17-9) to the Verizon Center on Tuesday, Dec. 23. The battle between to first-place teams will tipoff at 7 p.m. ET.

FIVE REACTIONS

  1. One thing that the Wizards certainly did not do well was share the basketball. With eight assists, John Wall led the team and was the only starter to record a dime. Nene Hilario and Rasual Butler also had assists, but the Wizards 11 was less than half their average of nearly 25 per game. Their ability to share the ball has got them to where they are, but their inability to share set them back on Sunday night.
  2. It was not a good night from behind the arc. The Wizards went just 3-for-14 on three-point-attempts and Beal, Wall and Paul Pierce combined to go just 2-for-9 from downtown. Phoenix didn’t shoot much better — finishing 6-for-17 — but the Wizards definitely didn’t do themselves any favors.
  3. Off the bench, Butler and Kevin Seraphin did well. They combined for 33 points and 11 rebounds in at least 28 minutes per player. On a night when there were many negatives, the ability of the bench to step up when needed was a positive.
  4. When you look at defensive stats, it wasn’t a bad night for Washington. They managed 11 steals and the Suns committed six more turnovers (17). However, when you’re opponent shots 51.6-percent from the floor — 10-percent higher than the Wizards — it’s to overcome that.
  5. From the free throw line, the Wizards made just 21 of 29 attempts. Oftentimes, you can look to the charity stripe for a reason for the deficit, but Washington lost by more than just eight. However, hitting the freebies would have brought the score closer and who knows what kind of late-game magic could have sprung from it.
About Brian Skinnell

Brian Skinnell is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Nationals and college football. He is a born-and-raised follower of Washington, D.C. sports, “The” Ohio State Buckeyes and auto racing. A graduate of Shepherd University in December of 2014, he has a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a Concentration in Sports Communications. Prior to joining District Sports Page (for his second stint), he spent time with Rant Sports, Yahoo Sports and the Washington Redskins. For his day job, he is an Editor for Team Velocity Marketing. Follow him on Twitter @Brian_Skinnell.

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