Suns win… April fools!
The Suns started out the month of April by taking on the Washington Wizards, with Markieff Morris returning to Phoenix for the first time since he was traded. The Wizards, sitting on the outside of the playoff picture, looked to beat the struggling Suns to stay in the playoff race. The Suns looked to play spoiler, by making it harder for the Wizards to make the playoffs, and also not letting Morris gt a win in Phoenix.
This game was close, and looked at times like the Suns could pull out a win against the Wizards, but inexperience was the Suns downfall. The Suns were able to force the Wizards into some bad shots, and strong rebounding by Tyson Chandler helped the Suns take a 52-50 lead into halftime. The Suns starters could get into much of a rhythm, and after both teams scored 27 points in the third quarter, the Wizards closed out the game strong. The Suns scored a total of two points off of free throws in four minutes in the final quarter, and that helped the Wizards grab onto a ten point lead. After getting outscored 29-20 in the fourth, the Suns fell to the Wizards 106-99.
Phoenix shot 36-93(38.7%) from the field, 7-23(30.4%) from the three point line, and 20-26(76.9%) from the free throw line. The Suns turned the ball over 16 times, seven of which were in the fourth quarter. They were able to out rebound the Wizards 56-44, and that was with Alex Len only playing 21 minutes due to foul trouble.
Mirza Teletovic was the leading scorer for the game with 24 points off the bench. He didn’t shoot particularly well from the three point line, hitting two of his seven attempts, but he did hit six of his other thirteen from his shots within the arc. Teletovic totaled 12 rebounds to give himself a double-double off the bench.
P.J. Tucker looked like he had something to prove tonight, scoring 18 points, and totalling 10 rebounds. He shot 7-15 from the field, 2-3 from behind the arc, and hit both of his free throw attempts.
Chandler was the leading rebounder for the game, grabbing 15 as the loan center on the floor for the Suns. He totaled 11 points for his 17th double-double of the season, tying Len for team high.
And now for the elephant in the room. Three different Wizards players scored 20 points, those players being John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Markieff Morris. Wall and Beal turned it on in the second half, and their offense and defense here the contributing factors to the fourth quarter turnaround. The Wizards also shot better than the Suns, with shooting percentages of 44.2%, 38.5%, and 80%. The Wizards looked like the more experienced team, and the fourth quarter is the biggest example, where there big name players got it done when they needed to.