The Washington Wizards kicked off their four-game West Coast swing Friday night with an excellent 101-95 win over a very solid Phoenix Suns team, and thought it may not have been the Wizards' best win of the season, it sure did feel like the best.
The Miami Heat win may have been Washington's most thrilling victory this season, but the Wizards entered yesterday's contest off a terrible home loss to the depleted Boston Celtics, while the Suns were riding high after spanking the Indiana Pacers. So things looked pretty bleak, and yet the Wiz played solid basketball and pulled out a much-needed win.
Bradley Beal played closer down the stretch. With the score knotted at 93 with two minutes to play, Beal knocked own a three, nailed a pull-up jumper and slammed home a streaking dunk to secure the win. He finished with 17 points and six rebounds on 8-of-15 shooting. John Wall played a great game against Goran Dragic, scoring 18 points and handing out 12 assists against only two turnovers. Trevor Ariza led the team in scoring with 23 points on only 6-of-14 shooting, but he went 8-for-8 from the foul line. Marcin Gortat didn't finish with the best stat line with 14 points and five boards, but he finished with a team-high plus-17 against his old club. Nene chipped in 18 points and eight rebounds.
If nothing else, it was as satisfying a win as they've had all season. Now the challenge is to not have a letdown against the moribund Utah Jazz. No more Wizarding, Wizards.
Listen to Dave Johnson's "Phoenix rising? No, Wizards rising," call.
14 - Washington's rebounding advantage against Phoenix. The Wizards outboarded the Suns 44-30 (19-9 on the offensive glass), which helped them attempt 15 more shots than Phoenix.
TWEETS OF THE NIGHT
Nene has NO interest in stepping out to guard Channing Frye. He'd rather get clubbed in the Achilles' #wizards— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) January 25, 2014
i haven't seen the wizards a whole lot this year but can someone tell me if otto porter exists on this plane of existence? @wzzntzz????— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) January 25, 2014
Fantastic win. Truly fantastic. Great 48-minute effort against a very good team.— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) January 25, 2014
Wittman https://t.co/FCJX1Ny6La— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) January 25, 2014
VIDEO/GIF OF THE NIGHT
Gorgeous. (H/T @recordsANDradio)
GAMETHREAD COMMENT OF THE NIGHT
- Wizards vs. Suns: Bradley Beal helps Washington close out huge road win
- Wizards vs. Suns final score: Washington closes out critical road win, 101-95
- Marcin Gortat returns to Phoenix, seems to be in Wizards' long-term plans
- John Wall's All-Star competition
- The Wizards half-court offense is a train wreck