Originally posted on Wizards Extreme  |  Last updated 3/21/13
wizards 88 suns 79 3/20/2013 - USAirways Center, Phoenix, AZ ESPN Boxscore NBA.com Game Highlights MATT YORK Welp, that surely wasn’t as fun to watch as the first matchup between the Wizards and Suns just a few nights ago, but ANY road win for this squad is a GOOD win. Last night displayed a far more gritty and more sloppy outing for the road-weary Wiz Kids, but thanks to key production from the bench and a Miami Heat-esque run in the 2nd quarter, Washington was in good enough shape to pull away with a victory and complete their second season sweep of a Western Conference team, defeating the Phoenix Suns 88-79. A Trevor Ariza/Kevin Seraphin-driven 21-2 run midway through the 2nd quarter was enough to cancel out 21 team turnovers and create enough of a gap to fend off any second-half comeback attempt by the Suns. While John Wall was accountable for five of those turnovers, he was sharp for most of the night, finishing with 19 points and 8 dishes. His jump shot remained efficient, and he hit a crucial one in the final minute of the game -- a sweet baseline fadeaway -- to seal the 9-point win. The Wizards survived a 29-point second half, thanks in most part to Phoenix’s equally ugly performance. The Suns shot just 33% from the field and missed 12 of their 15 attempts from behind the arc. Goran Dragic and Wesley Johnson lead the team with 18 points each. The win was just the 6th road victory in 32 games this season. The Wizards have built the character of an extremely road-shy team and clearly seem to struggle mentally away from home. They’ve turned ball over 39 times already during the first 2 games in this 4-game road stretch. The ‘road’ doesn’t get easier for the Wizards, as they face a recovering Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol at the Staples Center tomorrow night when they play the Lakers. With Emeka Okafor on sick leave, the Wizards finally found an opportunity to utilize the compensation they got for Jordan Crawford by putting Jason Collins in the starting lineup. It wasn’t too long before the Wizards realized they may had been better off with a flu-ey Okafor sneezing in the paint instead. But what was better than both of those options last night? Kevin Seraphin. Seraphin has had quite a tumultuous season of ups and downs and being in and out of Randy Wittman’s doghouse, but last night he, along with Trevor Ariza, were the key factors in Washington’s first half run. Seraphin was extremely efficient with the ball, passing well out of double teams, executing his trademark hook shot, and hitting the mid-range J. He hit 8 of his 11 shots for 16 points. Martell Webster: Martell has made a habit of starting games off with a quick hot hand. Last night seemed to be the same deal after he knocked down a 3-ball one minute into the game, but he missed his next three shot attempts, including a botched layup and dunk. ‘Tell was quiet for the rest of the half, but was vital in the 3rd quarter, where he knocked down two 3-pointers during a stretch where the Wizards only totaled 15 points. He finished with 13 on 3-for-5 shooting from downtown. Goran Dragic: Despite the terrible shooting by the Suns, Dragic still managed 11 assists to go with his 18 points. He took advantage of John Wall’s sluggish transition defense to get the ball downcourt for a few fast-break conversions. The Good Nothing applies more to this segment than a road win. Simple as that. It’s pretty clear how mentally unstable this team can be on the road and the 39 combined turnovers so far on this road trip are a perfect depiction of that instability. However, the Wizards were able to shake off another lapse they’ve suffered all season long, and that’s closing out games. The Wizards remained poised down the final stretch of the game, holding Phoenix scoreless in the final three minutes after the Suns had pulled to within 3. The Bad Plenty of bad in this game. As mentioned before, the road woes for the Wizards could have easily had this game result in a loss, thanks to questionable defense, poor free throw shooting and those damn turnovers.   The Ugly Bradley Beal’s ankle. While Wizards Nation is split on whether he should continue playing or whether he should sit the rest of the season, the fact of the matter is that we’re just tired of seeing Brad suffer through so many setbacks. It’s just painful and uneasy to watch. I’m hopeful that his recurring ankle injuries doesn't affect his confidence and possibly give him ‘Derrick Rose-syndrome’, where he becomes afraid of even planting his foot on the ground. But as we’ve all stated, he’s only 19 and ankle tweaks are relatively easier to play through and recover from. Personally, I wouldn’t mind Wittman shelving him for the season to ensure his health during the summer and into next season.  
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