The Washington Wizards finished their five-game road trip on Monday night, this time with a loss to the Phoenix Suns, 104-88.
They were looking to come home to Washington with a winning record that started in Detroit and moved out West.
Sadly, that would not happen as the Wizards were competitive in the game throughout the third quarter; however, the Suns (14-19) just utterly dominated in that period, outscoring the Wizards in embarrassing fashion – 32 to 13.
What was a close game after halftime would immediately become a laugher for the Suns. For much of the year, the Wizards (7-25) have been inconsistent, and at times showing cohesion, plus flashes of brilliance.
However, the problems that have plagued the Wizards all season against stronger opponents manifested itself in that time frame.
The Wizards held their own, as they took a 55-54 lead with 8:12 remaining off a Trevor Booker jumper and free throw; however, things fell apart afterwards – quickly.
The Suns used an inexplicable 31-6 run to dispose of their opponents. After Booker’s shot, they scored 16 consecutive points and just rolled from there. By then, the game was over.
The Wizards, who had been passing the ball well all night, just stopped. Players were missing shots, botching basic fundamental items, and that in turn, buried them.
The Wizards were behind 81-65 at the start of the fourth quarter, and despite hustling a bit in the final period, it was for naught.
“They got on a run, and we made some bad decisions. They took advantage of it.”, said Jordan Crawford — who had 20 points off the bench.
He added, “When you get down I think everybody tries to be the hero. I think that cost us. We’re always right there, up by one or down by one and something happens. We’ve got to find a way to stop teams from making a run. “
John Wall also shared his thoughts on Washington’s breakdown in the third quarter.
“We stopped playing as a team; we stopped moving the ball. We took tough shots. With a team that gets out and goes it gets the crowd into it – they can spark a big lead and they did. “
He added, “We weren’t making shots and that made it tough in our zone and they made a lot of shots. We put ourselves in that situation and the only way to get out of it is to play as a team and try to get stops. We weren’t doing the little things to help us.”
For the Wizards, Booker had 16 points and 8 rebounds in the losing effort. Wall had 10 points, along with six rebounds and six assists.
Nick Young only had six points on the night on 3-of-13 shooting. As well, he missed all four of his three-point attempts.
Phoenix’s Marcin Gortat had 20 points; meanwhile, Steve Nash scored 12 points and had 11 assists. Channing Frye had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
However, the loss on Monday did not sit well with Wizards coach Randy Wittman. They have now lost three straight games on their road trip and he expressed his thoughts loud and clear on his team’s effort.
“We became selfish. We were up one and go on a spree of the most selfish basketball I’ve seen since I’ve taken over.”
He added, “I’ve got to find the right people to find the right way to play. But I’m not letting that slip back in.”
After finishing 2-3 on their road trip, the Wizards close out the first half of their season at home versus the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night.