Four seconds. That's how long it took for John Wall to tear down the court like a bat out of Hell and try to take over this game with a running dunk that cut it five. On the next possession, a layup after another four seconds cut it to three.
And that's the closest the Wizards would get.
Washington continued its troubled play against Western Conference teams with an energetic yet disappointing 99-93 loss to Phoenix on Wednesday. It was a classic mixture of poor play that doomed them: too many turnovers, poor free throw shooting, and poor three point shooting. And the Suns--even with their own hefty turnovers--were able to capitalize on the Wizards' missteps.
After what was a pretty evenly-matched first half, the Suns took a surprising 10-point lead into halftime. Part of it was Phoenix's hot outside shooting (with little contestation from Washington); part of it was also that Washington seemed to not be able to get right after Bradley Beal was escorted to the locker room with a hip pointer (he would later return in the third quarter).
Whatever it was, the Suns took that momentum from the end of the first half, and they pushed the envelope to start the second half. Up by as many as 25 points during the third quarter, the Wizards were left looking for ways to stop the bleeding. It took a feisty three-guard lineup with Wall, Beal, and Andre Miller to bring Phoenix's lead back down to just five; it'd be 10 at the start of the fourth.
As desperation started to sink in, Wall took the team on his back and looked to score as quickly and as often as possible. A noble effort, but ultimately one that came up short.
An exciting game, and a great performance all around by the Suns. Great shooting, great ball movement, great defensive and offensive schemes. They definitely earned it. Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe are fun as hell to watch; I just wish I were watching them under more favorable circumstances.
With Toronto, Charlotte, and Brooklyn all jostling for playoff position around the Wizards tonight as well, this was a game Washington did not want to lose while it has its eye on the postseason. Hopefully, they'll be able to cure what ails them against Indiana on Friday.