Coming off of their fourth win of the season, the Wizards entered Phoenix in search of more. The struggling Suns stood in their way, hoping to pick up a much-needed win against an inferior opponent.
The Wizards lost a close one in Phoenix, 112-108.
This contest started similarly to the last for Washington, who got off to a tremendous start. A pair of threes from Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Poole grew the lead to six, forcing an early Frank Vogel timeout.
Things didn’t stop there though. Deni Avdija turned up the defense, leading to yet another Bilal Coulibaly corner three. Coulibaly continues to impress from deep, especially in those corners.
After one quarter of play, Washington found itself up on the Suns, 29-21. That lead was short-lived though, as former Wizards Jordan Goodwin sparked a 6-0 Suns run to cut the deficit to just two for Phoenix.
Tyus Jones was then re-inserted into the game, where he began to turn things in the Wizards’ favor. A game after allowing Jalen Brunson to go 9-9 from three, the Suns perimeter-defense woes continued, allowing Jones to go a perfect 3-3 from three in the first half. The Wizards PG dropped 15 points and six dimes to lead Washington into the break up by double-digits.
In search of their first winning streak of the season, Wes Unseld Jr’s squad entered the break with the lead, 58-46.
As expected, Phoenix came out of half and went on a little run, cutting the deficit to nine after a Nasir Little three-pointer. The Wizards responded quickly though, putting together one their best sequences of the season. After a Kevin Durant miss, Kuzma got the ball and outletted it to Deni, who swung a pass to Poole, who whipped a cross-court pass to Kuzma, who swung to Jones in the corner, who made the extra pass back to Kuzma who sunk the open three.
The impressive ball movement continued throughout, creating an eight-point cushion for Washington entering the final frame.
As Wes Unseld Jr. attempted to buy time for his starters, the Suns lessened the gap, beginning the quarter on a 9-1 run. Jordan Goodwin got things started with a floater, and Devin Booker capped the run with a deep three. The Wizards lead was just one with 8:49 remaining.
The teams traded buckets for a bit, but the Suns relentless effort down low earned them some hard-fought points. Jordan Goodwin made some hustle plays and Jusuf Nurkic owned the boards as the Suns retook the lead and never looked back.
Washington stormed back late, with Poole and Gafford sinking layups to cut the deficit to just one.
It wasn’t enough though as Durant finished the Wizards off late, dunking over Daniel Gafford plus the foul to give his team a four-point lead with 27 seconds remaining en route to a well-deserved comeback victory.
Daniel Gafford dropped a career-high 26 points to go along with 17 rebounds and 2 blocks.
The Wizards began this four-game road trip with a loss. They’re off to Sacramento tomorrow at 10 p.m. ET.