The Washington Wizards closed out their five-game road trip with their third straight loss, falling 104-88 to the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. Washington played the Suns close for a two plus quarters before the Suns went on a run that made the final quarter academic. The Wizards had a one-point lead - their only lead of the night - with just over eight minutes remaining in the third quarter. Phoenix then went on an incredible 31-6 run to end the quarter and blow the Wizards off the floor with Alvin Gentry's fast-paced quick strike offense. Veteran Michael Redd keyed the run with ten quick points while Steve Nash exploited the Wizards defense on the pick-and-roll. Nash finished with 12 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds.
John Wall did not score in the second half for the Wizards, as Randy Witmann rested his starters for much of the final quarter. Wall finished with ten points, six rebounds, and six assists. Jordan Crawford led Washington with 20 points off the bench, hitting seven of ten attempts from the floor for one of his more efficient games of the season. But Washington had no answers on the defensive end, as Phoenix ran out to 22 fast break points and shot 47 percent from the floor for their tenth straight win over the Wizards.
After finishing the road trip 2-3, Washington now returns home to face the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. The Kings are just 3-16 on the road this season and present a nice opportunity for the Wizards to pick up a win heading into the All-Star break.
For more news, analysis, and discussion on Wizards basketball, check out SB Nation blog,Bullets Forever. For more on the opponent's perspective, check out Bright Side Of The Sun, SB Nation's Phoenix Suns blog. For all your NBA hoops news, head to SB Nation's NBA Hub.