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Roadtrip continues in Phoenix
The Wizards head to Phoenix for the midpoint of their five-game trip as they take on the Suns tonight.
Talking Stick Resort Arena | 9:00 p.m. | NBCSW | 1500 AM
Wizards (13-11): G - Frazier, G - Beal, F - Porter Jr., F - Morris, C - Gortat
Suns (9-17): G - Ulis, G - Daniels, F - Warren, F - Chriss, C - Monroe
Wizards: Sheldon Mac (Achilles - Out), John Wall (Knee - Out)
Suns: Devin Booker (Adductor Strain - Out), Brandon Knight (Knee - Out), Davon Reed (Knee - Out), Alan Williams (Knee - Out)
An Encore for Beal
Bradley Beal scored a career-high 51 points on Tuesday night in Portland, setting a Moda Center record for most points ever by a visiting player. He made a career-high 21 field goals (21/37) and became the ninth player in team history to record 50+ points in a game. His 51 points were the third most in an NBA game this season and the game upped Beal's scoring average to 23.3 points per game. Heading into Tuesday night's game, Beal had been in a bit of a shooting rut and was held to 11 points or fewer in three of the team's previous four games. He broke out in such a big way that he scored more points on Tuesday and made more shots than he did in the previous four games combined.
Tonight he'll get a chance to follow up that performance against a team he has had plenty of success against. Beal has twice scored 40+ points in his career against Phoenix, including his previous career-high of 42 points. Earlier this season, he had 40 points against the Suns in a home loss.
Avenging Last Month's Loss to the Suns
Similar to Tuesday night's game in Portland, the Wizards head into another Western Conference team's home arena with revenge on their mind, as the Suns also stole a game from the Wiz back in November. The Wiz let a 22-point lead slip away in the second half, and fell 122-116, in what could be described as their most frustrating loss of the season. Beal wasn't the only one to reach 40 in that game, as the Suns' T.J. Warren also finished with a career-high 40 to lead the Suns to the comeback victory. The Wizards felt like they owed the Blazers one on Tuesday after they too pulled off a comeback in D.C. last month and they'll head into tonight's game with that same mentality as they look to split the season series.
Suns Lose Booker
Both teams will be missing a star guard in this one tonight as the Suns' Devin Booker was just added to the injury report with an adductor strain he suffered on Tuesday night. This will be a huge blow as Booker had been on a tear, including a 46 point effort in a win in Philly on Monday. Booker had been the Suns leading scorer and best perimeter player, but he'll miss at least the next two weeks after suffering the injury.
The Suns play at a quick pace and get up more shots than any team in the league, but they also give up over 115 points per game (30th in NBA), which is more than three points greater than the next worse team. Look for plenty of buckets in tonight's game as this one could be played in the 120's.
Up next, the Wizards' road trip moves to Los Angeles where they'll take on the Clippers on Saturday afternoon. (3:30 p.m.)