The Suns were able to snap their two game losing streak, and guarantee a winning record for their eight game home stand with a win over the Wizards tonight. Here's how it happened.
The Phoenix Suns began the game with a starting line-up Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic, P.J. Tucker, Markieff Morris, and Alex Len. The Washington Wizards began with their usual line-up as well, including John Wall, Bradley Beal, Paul Pierce, Nene, and Marcin Gortat.
Goran Dragic was the first to get on the board for the Suns with a jumper on the 2nd possession. The Suns missed on their next three possessions though, until Alex Len got the ball at the rim for a sick one-handed reverse dunk!
Next possession, Bledsoe once again found Len at the basket for an alley-oop. Suns guards are starting to look for the big man consistently...that's a very good thing.
Gortat is also getting off to a nice start for the Warriors, hitting his first two shots near the basket..
Dragic gets a steal for a fast break...not going to stop that. Dragic also getting to the rim on creative drives to the basket early on...he already has 8 points, and 3 rebounds halfway through the first quarter.
Gortat got away with hooking Len on a post up to get free for the dunk, but skilled big men like him know how to make it not so obvious.
Suns are starting to roll here, with a few baskets from Markieff and a big three by Bledsoe. Suns have also stopped Washington from scoring on their last couple of possessions, and now have an eight point lead with two and a half minutes left in the first quarter.
Gortat is really the only thing working for the Wizards right now...He has been very good in the low post, going 4/7 for 8 points so far, along with 3 rebounds
Isaiah Thomas now getting into the action off the bench with a big three pointer.
At the end of the first quarter, the Suns lead the Wizards 29-17. This is the Suns chance to get the road-weary Wizards out of the game early and put them away...Can they do it?
Dragic leaks out after a defensive stop and gets the ball with only Andre Miller to beat...Give Miller credit for at least attempting to stop it knowing good and well in wouldn't end in his favor. Still fouls Goran rather than giving up the easy two.
IT for 3...he's been on fire from behind the arc lately.
Gerald Green gets on the board for the first time tonight with a two.
Suns are actively pushing the ball against the road-weary and tired Wizards...good strategy that is paying off. Now up 13.
Brandan Wright is getting into the action now with his second dunk of the game, also registering and-one.
Gerald Green with a dunk plus the foul...Lots of dunks with he and Green on the floor together.
Eric Bledsoe is doing a great job of guarding John Wall so far.
Suns now starting to look for Brandan Wright above the rim.
Wizards scored on a couple of possessions in a row...can't give them any hope.
Suns were up 20 and giving the Wizards every reason to quit. Can't start letting them back in the game. Good early timeout by Hornacek.
Len gets the assisted dunk on one end, then blocks John Wall on a drive to the basket, then alters his shot...nice series from the Kraine.
Suns up 56-39 at the end of the first quarter. Suns guards have done a great job shutting down both John Wall and Bradley Beal, who are only shooting a combined 5/19 in the first half.
Phoenix has a great opportunity to step on the Wizards throats in the second half. I doubt it will take much more to take them out of this game and get them to waive the white flag. Just have to keep up the energy and intensity early and not give them a reason to believe they can get back in it.
John Wall gets a basket and then a three by Paul Pierce before the Suns can score...Just like that the lead is down to 12. Timeout Suns. They are doing just what I said they couldn't do above to start the second half.
And now it's down to 10...but Alex Len finally answers back to get the Suns on the board, and then a steal and fast-break dunk by P.J. Tucker, and Phoenix is back in control...for now.
But then Gortat gets a dunk, Beal hits a three, Paul Pierce draws the contact to go to the line where he hits 1-2, and Beal hits another three...and suddenly, the Suns lead is cut to just 7...Their first time leading by single digits since the first quarter.
Now Pierce gets another basket...lead is down to just 5...Washington is making that run the Suns didn't want to allow.
Bledsoe finally stops the bleeding with a basket at the rim plus the foul...but Suns are in danger of losing the lead they worked so hard to build in the first half.
Brandan Wright comes back in the game and gets a bucket and a steal that he rips out of Pierce's hands...Then Dragic hits a three assisted by Bledsoe, and the Suns are back up by 13. Can they grow it this time?
Isaiah checks into the game and hits a three right off the bat...then Marcus hits as well. But John Wall gets to the rim and Otto Porter hits a three, and the lead is still only 11.
Brandan Wright then takes an 18 foot jump shot as the clock winds down, and he makes it! The ball spun sideways like a UFO, but it went in...that's all that counts.
Dragic gets a fast break basket to end the quarter for the Suns as Phoenix goes back up by 14. The Suns didn't expand their lead the way they wanted, and the Wizards aren't about to quit yet, but at least they didn't give it all back, and still have a sizeable lead going into the fourth, up 80-66.
The Suns start out the fourth quarter with two back-to-back threes by PJ Tucker...but Washington scored two-point field goals on both of their first couple of possessions as well to stay in the game...for now.
Drew Gooden then gets to the rim for a basket, but Gerald Green finds a wide open IT who hits the three to once again answer back.
Seraphin goes to the line though and hits both his FTs, then Martell Webster flops on a three point attempt and the refs buy it...He converts all three shots and now we have a game again with the Suns lead cut to just 6. Uh-oh.
Temple gets another basket at the rim, and then the Suns turn the ball over on an offensive foul by Len...lead at only four now.
Tucker gets fouled on a drive to the basket and he's able to convert 2/2 to put the Suns back up 6. Then Markieff scores on a nice turnaround layup, and Dragic hits another jumper...now the Suns are back up by 10.
Back-and-forth we go.
Wizards made another push at the end, off of a couple of baskets and then a three by Otto Porter. Suns lead cut down to just four...but only 1:17 left in the game. Timeout Suns.
Mr. Clutch himself, Markieff Morris, once again hits the jumper to put the nail in the coffin for the Wizards
Free throws now...but it's over.
Suns made it a closer one than they wanted, but they survived...A win is a win, and this is a quality opponent that they have now swept this season.
With this win, the Suns are now guaranteed to come out of a very difficult home stretch against some of the best teams in the Western and Eastern Conference with a winning record. They are 5-2 over the first 7 games, and will face Chicago Friday night before finally heading off on the road to play the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.
Enjoy the win Suns' fans.