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Wizards look to snap skid against Suns
After losing their fifth straight game last night against the Lakers, the Wizards will take on the Suns on Wednesday at 10:00 P.M. The Wizards will conclude their final back-to-back of the season in Phoenix; they’re 9-5 on the second night this season. Trevor Ariza left Tuesday’s game after re-aggravating his groin injury, and will not play against the Suns. Several Suns players remain out, including former Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr.
Talking Stick Resort Arena | 10:00 P.M. | NBC Sports Washington | 1500 AM
Wizards: G – Tomas Satoransky, G – Bradley Beal, F – Troy Brown Jr., F – Bobby Portis, C – Thomas Bryant
Suns: G – De’Anthony Melton, G – Devin Booker, F – Mikal Bridges, F – Dragan Bender, C – Deandre Ayton
Wizards: Dwight Howard (aggravated gluteal soreness – out), John Wall (left Achilles tendon tear – out), Trevor Ariza (left groin strain – doubtful)
Suns: Josh Jackson (right ankle sprain – questionable), Tyler Johnson (sore right knee – out), Kelly Oubre Jr. (left thumb sprain – out), T.J. Warren (right ankle soreness – out)
Wizards look to snap skid
The Wizards enter Wednesday’s game with five straight losses. Washington’s offense has not been an issue all season (110.1 points per 100 possessions, 14th), but the team is only scoring 106.8 points per 100 possessions during the last five games. Outside of Bradley Beal (23.0 PPG) and Jabari Parker (15.4 PPG), the Wizards have not gotten consistent offense out of the rest of their team during the losing streak, shooting only 45.1% from the field and 28.3% from deep. The Wizards have also struggled defensively, giving up 117.2 points per 100 possessions. The defense has gone up against some strong offenses, but rim protection and guarding the perimeter have hurt Washington. Facing the 17-58 Suns will give the Wizards a chance to get back on track, as the Suns have been outscored by 8.9 points per 100 possessions, the second worst mark in the NBA.
Scouting the Suns
The shorthanded Suns are coming off a blowout loss to the Jazz, in which Devin Booker dropped 59 points on 19-of-34 shooting. With injuries to several key rotation players, the Suns rely on Booker to ignite their offense. He’s averaging 26.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game on the year, and he will be the focal point defensively for the Wizards. One battle the Wizards need to win is on the glass; the Suns enter Wednesday with the rebounding percentage in the NBA for the season and in March. The Wizards may be 29th (47.4%) on the season, but they’re 12th (50.2%) in March, which has been an impressive upgrade. Deandre Ayton is a solid rookie center (16.3 PPG, 10.2 RPG), but the Suns struggle to rebound as a group. Additionally, Phoenix turns it over a lot (15.5% turnover percentage, 29th), but the team is also second in the NBA in steals at 9.0 per game.
Wednesday marks the final back-to-back game of the season for the Wizards. Entering their 15th and ultimate back-to-back, Washington is 9-5 on the second night this season. Road back-to-backs are always challenging, and two of Washington’s five losses have come on away-away road back-to-backs. Still, the Wizards have been resilient on the second leg all year long, especially considering they went 2-13 on the front end this season. For the Suns, they open up a five-game homestand after playing two on the road. The Wizards are now 8-29 on the road this season, while the Suns are 10-26 at home.