Preview: Phoenix At Washington
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, December 4, 2015
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia
Washington point guard John Wall has produced back-to-back 30-point outings and attempts to dig the Wizards out of a slump when they host the Phoenix Suns on Friday. Washington has lost five of its last six games but Wall has posted outings of 35 and 34 points in the last two contests, his highest-scoring outputs of the campaign.
Wall will be tested by the strong Phoenix backcourt as both Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe can take turns trying to defend him. He also averaged 10.5 assists over the past two games after reaching double digits just four times over the first 12 contests. The Suns have dropped six of their last seven games and the visit to Washington is the fourth contest of a six-game road excursion. Phoenix suffered a demoralizing defeat in Detroit on Wednesday as a 16-point fourth-quarter lead evaporated and turned into a 127-122 overtime loss.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona (Phoenix), CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington)
ABOUT THE SUNS (8-11): Phoenix is in the midst of a disappointing stretch and has allowed 120 points in four of its past seven games. Coach Jeff Hornacek is trying to keep a handle on a team that is failing to reach expectations as it tries to end the franchise’s five-year playoff drought. “They’ve got to do better,” Hornacek told reporters. “They talk playoffs, that they want to try to get in the playoffs. Well, they’ve got to get there. They’ve got to bring it every night. They’ve got to not settle for things.”
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (7-9): Washington’s up-and-down nature has been baffling as the squad suffered a 108-104 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday just one night after registering a 97-85 road win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Wizards committed 23 turnovers and a substandard defensive outing began by allowing 34 first-quarter points and finished with struggling Lakers standout Kobe Bryant etching 31 points into the scorebook. While Wall is playing superb, backcourt mate Bradley Beal is 10-for-31 from the field over the past two games – including a porous 2-of-14 from 3-point range.
1. The Suns have won 13 of the past 16 meetings.
2. Phoenix PF Markieff Morris (knee) sat out Wednesday and is questionable for Friday’s contest.
3. Washington PF Nene (calf) is expected to miss his fourth straight game while C Marcin Gortat (family emergency) left the team Thursday and will miss at least two games.
PREDICTION: Wizards 106, Suns 102