The House of Guards combined for 51 points (Beal with 34 and Wall with 17) as the Wizards hang on and beat the Phoenix Suns 109-106. The Wizards trailed for 45 of the 48 minutes in this one but regained the lead when it mattered most.
In what looked like a hangover from the Laker game, the Wizards started this one 0-9 from the field and found themselves in an early 10-2 hole just minutes into the game. The team regrouped as John Wall would knock down his first two three-pointers of the game to cut into the deficit.
To no surprise, Otto Porter was knocking down shots and crashing the offensive glass (5 offensive rebounds) but the Wizards trailed 31-22 after one as the Suns shot a scorching 66% for the quarter.
Sessions scored 18 points off the bench including eight in the second quarter. Driving, layups at the rim, getting to the hole; Sessions did all of his damage tonight in the paint.
Gary Neal also had a strong performance off the bench scoring 12 points including knocking down his first four jumpers. But whenever the Wizards got within striking distance, the Suns stretched their lead as they had the advantage 60-51 at halftime.
Wittman went super small starting three guards (Wall, Beal, Temple) along with Porter and Hollins to start the half. But it worked… kind of. The Wizards were able to switch positions 1-4 on defense but all five players had to be committed to crashing the defensive glass.
Bradley Beal caught fire in the third quarter scoring 14 of his game-high 34 points but just like in the first quarter; the Suns always had an answer whenever the Wizards got close.
T.J. Warren knocked down a three for the Suns to start the fourth quarter and the lead quickly ballooned to 10, 88-78. But Bradley Beal continued his hot shooting attacking the hole, making the shot and the harm. The Wizards would fall asleep on defense allowing way too many backdoor cuts resulting in easy layups.
The Wizards scrapped, they clawed, it was ugly; but they regained the lead 104-103 at the 1:42 mark when Otto Porter hit an acrobatic layup and got fouled. The lead was the Wizards’ first of the game since leading 2-0
Bradley Beal came back and knocked down a tough jumper in which he lost control of the ball going up but regained control to knock down the shot. For as great as that shot was, Beal committed the ultimate sin in fouling Brandon Knight on a three pointer with just 8 seconds to play which had Steve Buckhantz going crazy.
With the lead at 109-106, the Suns had one last opportunity to tie the game when Eric Bledsoe jacked up a three-pointer that hit off the backboard and the rim but bounced out. Wizards hang on 109-106.
This game was ugly: The two teams combined for 41 turnovers (Suns with 20, Wizards with 21). But hey, the Wizards like to win ugly right?
Both teams shot very well from three-point range: Each team knocked down 10 three-pointers. Bradley Beal shot and impressive 5-8 from long range whereas Brandon Knight was equally impressive going 4-7 from distance.
Super small ball: The Wizards played two very small lineups for extensive periods of time. Wall-Beal-Neal-Sessions-Porter in the first half and Wall-Beal-Temple-Sessions-Porter down the final stretch. And somehow, the Wizards still out-rebounded the Suns 41-35.