The Washington Wizards survived a West Coast trip with two wins in four outings and return home for six of the next seven, starting with a visit from the rejuvenated Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night. The Wizards lost consecutive games against the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State before rolling to a 110-83 victory at Sacramento on Sunday while draining 17-of-34 from 3-point range.
“It was probably the best that we’ve played on both ends of the court,” Washington coach Scott Brooks told reporters after his team held the Kings to 39 percent shooting from the floor. “Hopefully we can continue that trend.” All-Star point guard John Wall, who had struggled shooting in the first five games, made 7-of-12 from the field against Sacramento and will compete against one of the league’s most promising young guards in Devin Booker of Phoenix. Booker scored a season-high 34 in a tough loss at Portland on Saturday and followed that up with 32 - one day after his 21st birthday - in a 122-114 victory at Brooklyn on Tuesday as the Suns improved to 3-1 under interim coach Jay Triano. Booker averaged 17.8 points while shooting 41.2 percent from the field in the first five games of the season before erupting the last two contests.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona (Phoenix), NBCSN Washington
ABOUT THE SUNS (3-4): Mike James, a 27-year-old rookie guard who has been playing overseas, has made quite an early impression with Phoenix and recorded a career-high 24 points in the win over Brooklyn while adding five assists in 29 minutes. James, who is averaging 13 points and had a season-high four steals Tuesday, picked up some of the slack since guard Eric Bledsoe was banished from the team, and has started the last four games. TJ Warren scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter against Brooklyn and Tyson Chandler reached double figures (13) in rebounding for the third time in four games.
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (4-2): Wall leads the team in scoring (21.7) and assists (10.3) despite shooting just 39.3 percent from the field in the early going while Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. are each scoring at least 18 per game. Beal, who avoided a suspension for his fracas with Draymond Green in the loss at Golden State on Friday, is averaging 19.5 points and Porter (18.7) has connected on 16-of-25 shots the last two games - improving to 55.7 percent from the floor overall. Center Marcin Gortat (12.3 points) tops the team in rebounds (9.7) and is shooting a robust 57.1 percent from the field.
1. Phoenix SF Josh Jackson, the fourth pick in the 2017 draft, is just 9-for-33 from the field over the last three contests since scoring a season-high 15 versus Sacramento.
2. The Wizards have swept a pair of games from the Suns in each of the last two seasons, but all four wins came by a combined amount of 19 points.
3. Washington PF Markieff Morris, who has not played this season due to an abdomen injury, practiced Tuesday and could make his debut as early as Friday against Cleveland, provided he is medically cleared and serves his one-game suspension Wednesday for leaving the bench during the melee against Golden State.
PREDICTION: Wizards 112, Suns 98