National Basketball Association
Washington at Phoenix
When: 10:30 PM ET, Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Where: US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
The Washington Wizards won a pair of close road contests in the last three days and they’ll try to end their four-game West Coast trip on a high note when they meet the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night. Washington won in overtime Sunday against the Denver Nuggets and then crawled back from 19 points down Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers before taking the short flight to Phoenix. The Suns won four in a row to start their franchise-record eight-game homestand but have dropped the last two.
Washington could be short-handed as third-leading scorer Paul Pierce didn’t play in the win against Los Angeles because of a toe injury and leading scorer John Wall was hobbling late in that game as he appeared to aggravate an Achilles tendon injury that had him questionable to play before the game. Wall came within a rebound of a triple-double against the Lakers and would be a big loss against the guard-heavy Suns. The hottest member of the Phoenix backcourt is Isaiah Thomas, who has scored at least 22 points in each of the last four games, all while coming off the bench. TV:
10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, CSN Washington, FSN Arizona (Phoenix)ABOUT THE WIZARDS (31-15):
Bradley Beal hasn’t been scoring at the rate he did last season, when he averaged 17.1 points in his second NBA campaign. He’s averaging just under 15 points this season but might need to score in the 20s if Washington is without Wall for the first time this season. Another key player could be reserve wing Rasual Butler, who scored a team-high 17 points when the Suns beat the Wizards in Washington last month. ABOUT THE SUNS (26-20):
Phoenix received one of its most balanced scoring efforts of the season in the win against the Wizards on Dec. 21. Six players reached double figures in scoring in the 104-92 victory, which ended Washington’s six-game winning streak. Markieff Morris has cooled off since his 35-point game Jan. 13 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, surpassing his 15.3 scoring average once in the five games since. BUZZER BEATERS
1. Washington backup G Martell Webster left Tuesday’s loss against the Lakers after bumping knees with Los Angeles PG Jeremy Lin.
2. The Suns have five double-digit comeback victories this season against teams that qualified for the playoffs last spring.
5. Phoenix is the second-best free-throw shooting team in the NBA at 78.9 percent and is close to the franchise record of 80.8 set in 2006-07.PREDICTION:
Suns 101, Wizards 97
Stats and Records