The Phoenix Suns fought their way to a 2-4 road trip but lost more than just a game when star shooting guard Devin Booker went down with a strained left adductor in a 126-113 setback at Toronto on Tuesday. The Suns hope to have Booker available when they host another high-scoring shooting guard in Bradley Beal with the Washington Wizards on Thursday.
Booker had to be helped off the court on Tuesday after scoring 19 points in 39 minutes and will undergo further testing to determine the severity of the injury on Wednesday. The 21-year-old missed the first game of the road trip but was on fire over the rest of the trip, averaging 31.6 points on 50.5 percent shooting, including a 46-point outburst in a 115-101 win at Philadelphia on Monday. Beal was even better at lighting up the scoreboard while posting a career-high 51 points in a 106-92 win at Portland on Tuesday. That victory helped wash away the sour taste of a 116-69 loss at Utah in the first stop of the five-game trip on Monday.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, NBCS Washington, FS Arizona-plus (Phoenix)
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (13-11): Washington is operating without All-Star point guard John Wall (knee) and is asking Beal to take on more responsibility as a playmaker in his absence. Beal struggled in that role along with the rest of the team at Utah and ended up with 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting and one assist before vowing to be more aggressive offensively on Tuesday and going 21-of-37 from the floor in his career-best effort. “I was really upset with the way we played, especially with myself individually,” Beal told reporters in reference to the Utah debacle. “I just came in (to Portland) with the mindset that I was going to be aggressive, not thinking about anything else but trying to get a win and playing my game.”
ABOUT THE SUNS (9-17): Phoenix watched eight players score in double figures in the loss at Toronto and will ask even more of players like T.J. Warren and rookie Josh Jackson if Booker is unable to go. Warren is averaging 18.4 points and enjoyed his best game when the Suns visited Washington on Nov. 1. Warren exploded for a career-high 40 points on 16-of-22 shooting while adding 10 rebounds as Phoenix overcame a 22-point deficit to secure a 122-116 victory.
1. Wizards SF Kelly Oubre Jr. went 6-of-9 from the floor on Tuesday after going a combined 4-of-18 in the two previous contests.
2. Phoenix C Greg Monroe collected 11 points and 10 rebounds on Tuesday to mark his third double-double in nine games with the team.
3. Washington C Marcin Gortat is 1-of-10 from the field over the first two games of the trip.
PREDICTION: Wizards 112, Suns 108