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Recap: Wizards fall in Phoenix 134-106
FINAL: Wizards 106 | Suns 134
Wizards: Raul Neto (24), Russell Westbrook (17), Ish Smith (12)
Suns: Devin Booker (27), Mikal Bridges (15), three players (14)
The Wizards were defeated by the Suns 134-106 on Saturday night in Phoenix in the fourth game of a six-game road trip and the second night of a back-to-back. The Wizards were playing without Bradley Beal (mid back tightness) and Davis Bertans (rest). Raul Neto led the way for the Wizards, scoring a career-high 24 points starting in place of Beal while Devin Booker scored a game-high 27 points for Phoenix. The loss snaps Washington’s five-game winning streak in Phoenix.
Russell Westbrook totaled 17 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists, his fourth consecutive triple-double and eighth in the last nine games. Westbrook now sits just 13 triple-doubles behind Oscar Robertson for the most in NBA history.
After Wizards head coach Scott Brooks called a timeout to put an end to a 10-2 Suns run to start the game, the Wizards scored eight straight points to tie the game at 10 apiece. Washington scored 20 of its 29 first quarter points in the paint and led 29-27 heading to the second. After trailing by four with 4:45 left to go in the first half, the Wizards went on a 7-0 run in just over a minute to take a 49-46 lead on a Neto 3-pointer. Three lead changes and two ties over the final 3:32 of the first half were capped by a Jae Crowder 3-pointer with one second left to give the Suns a two-point lead.
Phoenix blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring the Wizards 44-24 behind dominant play on both ends. Over the first 5:50 of the frame, Washington was outscored 28-9. The Suns shot 18-28 (.643) from the field and 6-10 (.600) from deep in the third quarter and held the Wizards to 8-21 (.381) shooting. Washington cut the lead to 18 on an 11-4 run led by Westbrook early in the fourth quarter, but was unable to get any closer down the stretch.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Neto sets new career high in place of Beal
With Beal and Bertans out of the lineup Saturday night against the Suns, the Wizards’ offense put forth a solid effort in the first half, but couldn’t hold up over the course of 48 minutes. Washington shot 22-42 (.512) from the field in the first half and assisted on 16 of their 22 made field goals, but scored just 24 points in the third quarter. Neto, starting in place of Beal, was a bright spot for the Wizards’ offense. He scored nine points in a span of just over three minutes in the first quarter on his way to his career-high 24 points. Neto shot 9-17 (.529) from the field, 3-5 (.600) from three and 3-3 (1.000) from the free throw line.
Gafford returns after six-game absence
Saturday’s game marked the return of center Daniel Gafford, who was acquired by the Wizards from the Bulls in a three-team trade on deadline day in late March. Gafford suffered a sprained right ankle in his second game with the team and missed the last six games. Gafford checked in for the first time with 3:10 left in the first quarter and wasted no time making his presence known. Just seven seconds after checking in, he blocked a driving Booker on his first defensive possession and scored on a put-back layup off an offensive rebound less than a minute later. Gafford scored again on a buzzer-beating layup at the end of the first quarter off an assist from Chandler Hutchison, acquired by the Wizards in the same trade. Gafford finished the night with nine points, five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in 17 minutes.
Booker comes up big for Phoenix
Phoenix got contributions from just about everyone with 11 of 13 players who saw action scoring points. As a team, the Suns shot 55-107 (.514) from the field and 17-43 (.395) from 3-point range. Leading the way – and driving the team’s decisive run in the third quarter – was Devin Booker, who scored a game-high 27 points on 11-24 (.458) shooting. Booker scored 17 points in the third quarter and all 27 points in quarters 1-3. Phoenix also got double-doubles out of both Chris Paul (13 points, 10 assists) and Deandre Ayton (14 points, 10 rebounds).
NEXT UP: Wizards at Jazz / Monday, April 12 / 9:00 P.M. / Vivint Arena
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
HOLY ISH pic.twitter.com/peYcK2mEoa— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) April 11, 2021