John Wall missed the game due to flu-like symptoms which kept him out of Friday’s practice and Saturday’s shootaround. His absence, along with Otto Porter Jr. and Dwight Howard’s, evened the playing field with the Suns, who entered the game with the worst record in the Western Conference.
It was a battle of contrasts in which there were 26 ties, 24 lead changes, and neither team led by more than 8 at any point in the game. The Wizards shot well from the field all night, but committed 22 turnovers and struggled with turnovers for most of the early part of the game. The Suns were making the most of their opportunities off of turnovers and offensive rebounds to keep pace.
It was also largely a battle of two duos trying to carry their teams to victory. The Suns were led by Devin Booker who put 33 points and 14 assists alongside DeAndre Ayton who had 26 points and 17 rebounds.
Bradley Beal did the heavy lifting for Washington most of the game He registered his first career triple-double with 40 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists. He also made some key defensive stops against Booker at key moments during the game. For most of the game, he was running a one-man show, until he got some help from an unlikely source late in regulation.
Thomas Bryant started to make his mark late in regulation and throughout overtime after Markieff Morris fouled out of the game. He found the seams in Phoenix’s pick-and-roll coverage to get open shots near the rim. He finished a perfect 14-of-14 from the field en route to a career-high 31 points, 18 of which came in the three overtime periods.
Fittingly, this game wasn’t so much decided by a knockout blow as it was by one team just figuring out a way to stand up longer than the other. There wasn’t a buzzer-beater to win the game or force an overtime. Most of the big shots were taken at the charity stripe in the final seconds of each period, culminating with Jeff Green hitting his ninth and tenth free throws of the game to seal the win.
Sunday’s game could be rough
The Wizards play another game on Sunday at 5 pm Eastern Time. Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal both played over 53 minutes. Green and Satoransky both played over 48. Hopefully Wall will be able to return and take on some extra playmaking load to balance things out.
Chasson Randle and Ron Baker hold it down
With John Wall out, and Troy Brown Jr. just back from an assignment with the Go-Go in Las Vegas, Washington’s newest acquisitions — Chasson Randle and Ron Baker, got a chance to play with the second unit.
They didn’t make much of an impact on the defensive end, but they didn’t let the opposition make much of an impact either. Ron Baker even came through with a solid block against Kelly Oubre to prevent an easy bucket.
It will be interesting to see how Brooks adjusts the rotation once Wall returns to the lineup.