Wizards-Suns instant analysis

Wizards-Suns instant analysis
March 16, 2013, 9:30 pm
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Wizards-Suns highlights

The Wizards got an assist from the return of Bradley Beal from a left ankle sprain as they beat the Phoenix Suns 127-105 at Verizon Center on Saturday. It was the third win in a row for the Wizards (23-42) and their fourth consecutive home victory. 

Player of the game: SF Martell Webster couldn't do wrong. He went 10-for-18 for a career-high 34 points, including 7-for-10 from three-point range. He also had five assists. It was Webster’s fifth consecutive game with at least four made three-pointers.

The rundown: PG John Wall continued to be metronome, shooting 8-for-11 for 17 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot.  Six Wizards scored in double figures. Phoenix (22-45) stayed close in the first quarter, leading 29-27 behind 11 points from F Markieff Morris. The rest of his team was just 8-for-23. Webster responded with 12 points in the second quarter with seven coming on free throws.  Beal played 11 minutes off the bench in the first half and went 2-for-4, making his only three-pointer, for five points. The Suns couldn't get shots in their half-court sets and couldn't even get clean looks on fast breaks. The Wizards made 46 of 93 shots, or 51.6%, and made 14 of 21 three-pointers (66.7%).

Turning point: The Wizards opened the third quarter with 11 quick points because of easy buckets, extending their seven-point halftime lead to 77-65.  Nene had two dunks and Wall had one on a breakaway. Webster made a three-pointer and Wall and Okafor made their free throws to complete three-point plays as it grew again to 90-71.

Beal return: SG Bradley Beal (left ankle) had missed six games in a row and initially was a scratch. Beal, however, changed course just before tipoff. He entered at 4:17 of the first quarter and made his first shot, a three-pointer. He missed his next two before exiting with 10:40 left in the second quarter. Moving laterally to play defense appeared difficult for Beal, who was a step slow but he appeared to loosen up as the game went on. Beal finished with 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting, making 3 of 4 threes, to lead the bench scoring. The reserves contributed 34 points.

Teamwork: Dragic had a fast-break going as Webster met him in the paint to slow his progress to the basket. That allowed Wall to elevate over the top in help defense to deny the basket in the third quarter. Nene was dunked on fiercely by Suns F Michael Beasley in the second quarter. Beasley was given a technical foul for taunting, but Nene quickly returned the favor with a  throwdown over C Jermaine O’Neal on the other end.

Short-handed: Backup PG A.J. Price (groin) missed his third game in a row, which meant Garrett Temple had to play extra minutes to alleviate Wall. Trevor Ariza (left knee) was bothered by soreness for the second time since Wednesday and sat out. He missed the second half vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers because of his knee.  F Chris Singleton was excused from the team to tend to a death in the family.

Track meet: With Wall and Dragic, it was indeed that at times. Wall pushed the ball and made a spin move to get around Dragic to get the roll on the lay up. Dragic responded by getting to the rim on the other end for a floater in the lane. Wall countered by sending the ball ahead to Nene, who threw down a one-handed dunk. The score stood at 57-52 when the flurry was done.

Milestones: The Wizards' 66 first-half points were a season high, including  a season-high 39-point second quarter. ... The Wizards are now 18-17 at home, the first time they've been better than .500 this late since the 2007-08 season. ... Webster's seven threes are the most by a Wizards player this season and ties his personal high from 2010. 

Who’s next: Monday at Charlotte Bobcats, 7 p.m. ET on CSN. Bobcats (14-52) lost to the Boston Celtics 105-88 on Saturday night.