Saturday's game: Wizards-Suns preview

Saturday's game: Wizards-Suns preview
March 15, 2013, 11:15 pm
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Wizards vs. Suns

at Verizon Center

TV: CSN, 7 p.m. ET

Season series: First meeting.

Previous game: Wizards (22-42) beat the New Orleans Hornets 96-87 at home Friday; Suns (22-44) lost at the Atlanta Hawks 107-94 on Friday.

Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Garrett Temple, SF Martell Webster, PF Nene, C Emeka Okafor. Hornets –- PG Goran Dragic, SG Wesley Johnson, SF Marcus Morris, PF Markieff Morris, C Jermaine O'Neal.

Pivotal matchup: Wall vs. Dragic. They can create for their teammates because of their pace, but Wall has been on fire lately. He made all three-point shots in the victory over the Hornets. This game represents the fourth in five nights for the Wizards, so their legs can be an issue if they still only have two healthy guards because of injuries. Dragic isn't a three-point, but without C Marcin Gortat, who is out with a season-ending injury, the Suns don't have much offense in the low post. Luis Scola had been starting until O'Neal got the nod Friday. 

Trending upward: Backups, C Kevin Seraphin and F Cartier Martin, are getting playing time. They responded by combining to shoot 8-for-12 Friday. 

Trending downward: Nene, Okafor and SF Trevor Ariza combined to shoot 5-for-23. Fs Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely, both of whom have seen action recently, didn't log a minute vs. New Orleans. 

X-factors: SG Bradley Beal (left ankle sprain) and PG A.J. Price (groin) haven't been available. Beal missed his sixth consecutive game Friday while it was Price's second in a row. Price also missed a game a week ago because of a thigh contusion. 

He said it: "This is the way we've envisioned ourselves playing, and wanting to play. We're only as good as your bench. And when your bench comes in and plays great basketball we kind of piggyback off that. Keep both units playing strong and aggressive, especially on the defensive end, we're going to pull out a lot more wins." -- Webster after Wizards won their second game in a row vs. New Orleans. 

The week ahead: Monday at Charlotte Bobcats, 7 p.m. ET; Wednesday at Suns, 10; Friday at L.A. Lakers, 10:30; Saturday at Golden State, 10:30. All on CSN. 

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