Beal's 34 helps Wizards cruise past Suns
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The Wizards added another win to their road trip Thursday in Phoenix, and they did it with a nearly identical formula to their victory on Tuesday. Bradley Beal led the way again, this time with 34 points, as Washington focused on defense all night en route to a 109-99 triumph over the Suns. The Wizards moved to 11-1 on the season when holding opponents under 100 points.
Another slow start offensively from Washington allowed Phoenix to nab an early lead, but as was the case on Tuesday, Beal snapped his team out of the slump with 11 first-quarter points. That jolted the Wizards to an 18-4 run that spilled into the second quarter to help them take a lead they’d only relinquish for a matter of seconds in the second half.
Markieff Morris joined Beal on the offensive attack in the third quarter, scoring 10 of his 21 points (six rebounds) in the frame. The pair combined for an efficient evening from the floor, shooting 21-for-34 on the night together and helping the Wizards shoot over 50 percent for the game.
“He played great," head coach Scott Brooks said postgame of Morris. "He made timely buckets for us, he got to the free throw line, he attacked and not just settled for jump shots and he’s been doing that two of the last three games. Last game, he did it but he did it around the rim. He needs to play like that for us to have success. He’s always important to us. When he does play with space and gets open and he’s aggressive on his shot or his drive, it helps us.”
The Suns got their early-game swagger back in the third momentarily, re-gaining a one-point lead in the waning seconds of the frame. But almost as quickly as they took the lead, it went away again as Morris heaved a pass deep that Tomas Satoransky saved and directed to Beal for a buzzer-beating bucket to close the period.
At the outset of the fourth, the Wizards used a mini 9-4 run from the bench to go back up seven and create some distance heading down the stretch. On the night, the second unit outscored the Suns’ bench, 39-27. All five bench players used by Scott Brooks on Thursday made a significant impact on the game, from Kelly Oubre Jr.’s 12 points and seven rebounds to Ian Mahinmi’s 10-point, eight-rebound performance. Perhaps most importantly, the bench unit played remarkably well defensively. Each of the five bench players recorded a better +/- ratio than their starting counterpart.
“No matter who it is, it’s important," Beal said of the win. "Everybody’s going to get going and it’s just a matter of us staying together getting the win, that’s what’s most important. It doesn’t matter who scores the most points or takes the shots, as long as get the W at the end of the day, that’s all we care about.”
Next, the Wizards will head into the final stretch of their five-game road trip with a return to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Odds and Ends
- Without John Wall this season, the Wizards are now 5-4. Wall went through parts of his normal pre-game routine Thursday as he continues to near a return from PRP treatment in his knee.
- With his 3-for-3 night from the field (eight points), Mike Scott has now gone two straight games without a missed field goal.
- With eight rebounds Thursday, Marcin Gortat passed Jeff Ruland for 9th on the Wizards’ all-time franchise rebounding list.