Rounding up reaction to a thorough 127-105 victory and Martell Webster's career night.
Here's your recap roundup for the Washington Wizards' 127-105 drubbing of the Pheonix Suns. For more coverage, check out our StoryStream as well as postgame interviews with Randy Wittman, Martell Webster, John Wall, Bradley Beal and Emeka Okafor, courtesy of Monumental Network.
When his sixth three-pointer splashed through the net near the end of the third quarter of the Washington Wizards' 127-105 victory over the Phoenix Suns, Martell Webster skipped back on defense, arms swinging along, carefree, as he rocked side to side.
When his seventh three-pointer dropped at the start of the fourth period, Webster ran back down the court and began to shrug his shoulders like Michael Jordan during the 1992 NBA Finals when he looked over and saw his Wizards teammates waving towels, laughing and hooting on the bench.
To say Webster was on top of his game would be a gross understatement. By the end of the night, he was skipping around the court like a kid playing a pickup game.
And with good reason.
Before completing a day's work, he recorded a career-high 34 points, became the first Wizard to reach 30 points or more in a game this season and set a new career record with seven three-pointers - falling just one shy of tying the franchise record for a game.
Asked how it felt to go 7-for-10 from beyond the arc and get his number called more than usual, Webster summoned the humor that has made him a unique and positive fixture inside the Wizards locker room all season.
"It's what it feels like to be Brad [Beal]," he said. "It's awesome. I love it."
Wall, meanwhile, has had at least 17 points and nine or more assists in his last four games. He followed a 12-for-15 effort in Friday's win over New Orleans with an efficient 8-of-11 shooting night Saturday.
After Saturday's game, he said he'd already brought up Webster's potential return to team owner Ted Leonsis.
''I already talked to Ted about that one,'' Wall said. ''That's an easy hands-down question about trying to get him back.''
PG John Wall continued to be metronome, shooting 8-for-11 for 17 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot. Six Wizards scored in double figures. Phoenix (22-45) stayed close in the first quarter, leading 29-27 behind 11 points from F Markieff Morris. The rest of his team was just 8-for-23. Webster responded with 12 points in the second quarter with seven coming on free throws. Beal played 11 minutes off the bench in the first half and went 2-for-4, making his only three-pointer, for five points. The Suns couldn't get shots in their half-court sets and couldn't even get clean looks on fast breaks. The Wizards made 46 of 93 shots, or 51.6%, and made 14 of 21 three-pointers (66.7%).
The bright and shining star of the game was Webster. It seemed like the entire game revolved around him. As mentioned above, he had a career high 34 points, and went 7 for 10 for three pointers. While this game won't ever be the norm for Webster, he is a great fit for the Wizards. He's one of the best corner three point shooters in the league, which is the ideal spot up location for Wall kick outs, and he's seems like he's an very positive locker room influence. I hope the Wizards can get him to resign here next year.
"Martell had one of those nights where he could've thrown it off the roof and it would've gone in," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "It really is one of those unbelievable feelings. It's one of those feelings where you're going like, ‘Wow, what's going on here?'" I have been in that position before (as a player)... so I drew up every play I could for him because you want to take advantage of that feeling."
The Wizards got some good news right before the game as it was announced that Bradley Beal would return to the lineup after missing six games. The Suns though had the lead for a good portion of the first half but a 14-2 run towards the end of the half propelled the Wizards into the lead and they would never look back. The 39 point second quarter was the Wizards highest scoring quarter of the year and the 66 point first half was their highest scoring first half. The offensive fireworks continued into the second half as the Wizards put up another 36 in the 3rd quarter to score 100 points before the close of the third and put the game out of reach. By the end of the night the Wizards had their most explosive offensive performance of the year and a 22 point victory over Phoenix.
"I got mad when Witt took me out. I already knew that was going to happen. It was for my own benefit," said Beal, who led the reserves by scoring 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting and six rebounds in 21 minutes. "I really played to see how I'm going to feel (Sunday) and see how well my body can hold up and see if I can play more minutes."
Another positive for the Wizards was certainly Wall, who continues to develop his outside shot to complement an otherwise outstanding skill set. Despite the negative attention that the point guard has been receiving recently, a combined 69 points and 30 assists over the past three games has officially put the former No. 1 overall pick back on the map in the NBA. It's clear that from a leadership standpoint, this is Wall's team to lose, and after a strong effort across the board in the win tonight, that title is rightfully deserved.
"When the Washington Wizards score 127 points on you, you did a lot of things wrong," Suns swingman Jared Dudley said.
The Wizards (23-42) scored 35 points above their average but have been a different team since John Wall's return from injury. When Wall, Bradley Beal and Nene all play, Washington is now 13-6 for a decidedly different direction than the Suns are headed.
Defensively, the Suns were steamrolled by John Wall's speed (17 points, 11 assists) and Martell Webster's threes (34 points, 7-10 from three). But let's talk about the Suns offense for a sec.
It's painfully clear that this team has zero chemistry, no identity, and barely a clue as to what they want to do. They vacillate between any variety of mediocre options in the coaching equivalent of a trip to the Golden Corral buffet....and that's probably not being fair to Golden Corral.
The tipping point came late in the second quarter, when Michael Beasley, Jermaine O'Neal and Lindsey Hunter all picking up technical fouls in the closing minutes. Beasley's came after one of his most scintillating plays of the year - a driving spin move followed by a vicious left-handed jam in traffic. In his post-play exuberance, he was penalized for taunting. The latter infractions came from perceived no-calls in the midst of a Wizards 15-2 run.
Things only got worse from there, as Washington followed up their 39-point second quarter with a 36-point effort in the third. The Suns were outscored by 12 in that frame, the same amount of points Webster scored from behind the arc in the period.
The Suns dropped their fourth straight to the Wizards on Saturday, and their sixth of eight this month. They also surrendered the most points they've given up in a first half (66).
Phoenix's defensive woes continued against Washington. The Suns have now given up 100 or more points in six consecutive contests for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
Washington signed Webster this past summer to a one-year contract worth roughly $1.6 million dollars. Over his last five games(including tonight) Martell Webster is averaging 21.8 points, and has made 24 three-pointers in 47 attempts; time for an extension?