On Sunday night against the Phoenix Suns, the Washington Wizards had a chance to win seven games in a row - and reach 20 wins faster than they ever had before - but the Suns' tough perimeter defense and scrappy guards had other plans in mind.
Six Suns' scored in double-digits - with Eric Bledsoe leading the way with 17 points, nine rebounds and three assists - as they beat the Wizards 104-92, halting their winning streak at six games.
For the Wizards, bench guys Rasual Butler and Kevin Seraphin led the way combining for 33 points and 11 rebounds. John Wall and Bradley Beal each had 14 points, but they also each had three turnovers a piece.
The Suns did things like this in the win:
Here's what else we saw:
Missed free throws are a problem
This stat line speaks for itself: 21-of-29 from the free throw line. The Wizards lost by 12. The math says that doesn't win them the game, but it gets them a hell of a lot closer considering the Suns tacked a few more points on in garbage time.
Beal needs more looks from outside
The Wizards two-guard finished with 14 points and just three of them of them came courtesy from a shot behind the arc. Beal attempted just two three-point shots in this game while the rest of the team shot 2-of-12 from outside. Beal is shooting just over 45% from outside this season and is second on the team in three-point shooting percentage, only trailing Rasual Butler.
Assists; the Wizards need more of them
John Wall had 8 assists tonight and... well, that was it for the starting lineup. Nene chipped in two and Butler had one as well, but no other starter registered a dime for the Wizards. Washington is averaging 25.7 assists per-game this year - good enough for third in the league coming into this game - and their mark of 11 tonight was well below that number.
Of course, the assist total wasn't all on the offense.
Easy to look at the assist numbers and conclude that the Wizards aren't sharing the ball enough, but the Suns defense is doing a great job.— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) December 22, 2014