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(Friday, January 24th)
Final Score: Washington 101, Phoenix 95
Phoenix, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Trevor Ariza scored 15 of his game-high 23 points in the second half as the Washington Wizards came through with a 101-95 victory over the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center.
John Wall, fresh off a triple-double in Wednesday's overtime loss to Boston, compiled 18 points and 12 assists to help the Wizards to their fifth win in seven games. Nene added 18 points and eight rebounds, while Bradley Beal finished with 17 points that included a pair of clutch shots down the stretch.
The Suns failed to build off Wednesday's impressive 124-100 blowout of East- leading Indiana despite Goran Dragic tallying 19 points and 11 assists. Channing Frye and Miles Plumlee recorded 16 and 14 points, respectively, in the setback.
"In the end we were not concentrating enough," said Dragic.
A game in which neither side was ahead by more than eight points was knotted at 93-93 with under 2 1/2 minutes remaining. The Suns' P.J. Tucker missed two free throws that would have broken the stalemate, and Beal made him pay by calmly burying a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.
Dragic then drove the lane but couldn't convert his layup attempt, with Nene hitting 1-of-2 from the line on the other end to put Washington up by four with 1:38 to play.
A Plumlee dunk off a Dragic give pulled Phoenix within 97-95 with 41.9 seconds left, but Beal again came up big by knocking down a midrange jumper that all but sealed the outcome after both Frye and Dragic misfired on 3-point tries in the closing stages.
"I knew that eventually the ball was going to come my way and I just stayed ready," Beal said. "I wasn't making too many shots throughout the game, but I just stayed with it and stayed confident."
The Wizards overcame a 59-51 deficit early in the second half behind Ariza, who dropped in 13 third-quarter points and spearheaded a 12-5 run to close out the period that sent Washington into the fourth up 82-76. The margin reached eight points following a Nene dunk that made the score 89-81 with eight minutes left, before the Suns embarked on a 12-4 surge capped by Plumlee's game-tying hook shot with 2:43 remaining.
The teams mostly traded baskets over the first 15 minutes of play until the Suns began to create some distance behind their second unit. With Alex Len and Leandro Barbosa each netting four points during a 10-4 run, Phoenix opened up the largest lead of the first half at 46-38 midway through the period.
Ex-Sun Marcin Gortat later scored six straight points to give Washington a 48-47 edge three minutes prior to the intermission, but the Suns finished out the half with a 10-3 burst to go up 57-51 at the break.
Gortat, facing his former team for the first time since the Suns traded him to Washington in the offseason, contributed 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting ... Washington swingman Martell Webster did not play due to illness ... The teams combined for 38 turnovers (Phoenix 21, Washington 17) that each converted into 24 points ... The Wizards have now won three straight against the Suns on the heels of a 10-game series losing streak from 2007-12 ... Phoenix, which went 20-of-25 from the foul line compared to 17-of-23 for Washington, lost for just the third time in 17 games this season when attempting more free throws.
01/25 00:49:05 ET
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