USA TODAY Sports
Excerpting from all the recaps around the web after an 88-79 Wizards win over the Phoenix Suns.
Here is your recap roundup for the Wizards' 88-79 win over the Suns on Wednesday. As always, visit our StoryStream and hear interviews of Randy Wittman, John Wall, Nene Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Ariza on Monumental Network. Also, see full coverage of Bradley Beal's injury status in this StoryStream.
"We can't live with turning the ball over that many times. Twenty-one turnovers are just unacceptable. The main point is that we had to stick together no matter what. It is kind of tough when you have an embarrassing loss like we did in Charlotte and then come back and try to bounce back here against a team that likes to run and score. The offense took care of us in the first half and the defense took care of us in the second half. There is nothing you can learn from tonight except for the fact that we stayed together."
"I have a lot of confidence in myself right now," Wall said after finishing with a game-high 19 points and eight assists and helping the Wizards improve to 19-15 since he returned from a stress injury in his left knee on Jan. 12 - the sixth-best mark in the Eastern Conference during that span. "It's tough to always talk about, but I feel this is easily a playoff team. Easy. But it's so much going on and God makes things happen for a reason. We're dealing with this right now, for better success up the road, but that's all I can look at it as."
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.
Grinding and playing tough basketball is quality every team currently in the lottery should exhibit, at the bare minimum at this level, and the Suns did just that. It was not enough to get the win, but showed heart on the court. Something that has been sporadic at best all season.
The Wizards closed out the game with a 88-79 win dropping the Suns to 23-46 on the season.
In response, Hunter played Goran Dragic and Luis Scola for the entire second half. Scola started the half in place of Markieff Morris, who did not return after 11 scoreless minutes. His twin, Marcus, lasted six minutes after not playing in Monday night's win.
"We're fighting an uphill battle trying to change our culture, trying to change how we do things," Hunter said. "And we're going to do it, that's not the problem. The problem is who will be on the bus when we get there."
Effort was the issue, and the Phoenix bench unit can take the majority of fault for the loss. Interim head coach Lindsey Hunter was upset enough with some of the young players that he sat them the entire second half.
"I wasn't happy with none of our young guys," he said. "And it wasn't about mistakes they made. It was about effort, it was about fight - having a sense of urgency. Unacceptable. "That's part of the reason they sat and watched the second half."