The Phoenix Suns (3-4) have continued their resurgence under interim head coach Jay Triano. They are now 3-1 since Triano took charge as they topped the Brooklyn Nets last night, 122-114. Devin Booker led the way with 32 points, his second 30-plus-point game in a row. Mike James added 25 points while TJ Warren had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The Washington Wizards (4-2) snapped a recent losing skid by beating up on the Sacramento Kings, 110-83. John Wall had a strong showing with 19 points and nine assists. More promisingly, though, he shot 7-of-12 from the field after some poor shooting games in the early going.
Three keys to the game
Home sweet home – The Wizards are back home after a four-game Western Conference road trip. They are 2-0 thus far this season, and after a couple of days off, should be ready and well-rested for the visit of the Suns.
Backcourt play – Both teams rely heavily on their backcourts for their offensive production, so that will be very important. The Wizards have the significant edge in that department with two All-Star caliber guards in Wall and Bradley Beal. But Suns point guard Mike James can blow up for big games from time to time and his play will be crucial in helping the Suns keep this game competitive.
Key threes – Small forwards TJ Warren and Otto Porter are crucial offensive options for both teams. Porter is having an especially strong season, averaging nearly 19 points and shooting 56 percent from the field. Warren isn’t going to shut Porter down defensively, so he will need to try and match that sort of scoring production for Phoenix.
Matchup to watch
Devin Booker vs Bradley Beal – Booker has finally started to heat up this season with consecutive 30-point games. He’ll need to keep that up on the second night of a back-to-back against Beal, who is every bit as talented and capable of going off for a big scoring night.
Suns projected starting lineup
PG – Mike James | SG – Devin Booker | SF – TJ Warren | PF – Marquese Chriss | C – Tyson Chandler
Wizards projected starting lineup
PG – John Wall | SG – Bradley Beal | SF – Otto Porter | PF – Kelly Oubre Jr. | C – Marcin Gortat
Wall isn’t having a particularly strong fantasy season thus far, but if there’s any matchup that can get him going it has to be this one against the Phoenix point guards who shouldn’t have a prayer of slowing the All-Star down.
The Suns are feisty nowadays and aren’t so easy to blow out as they were earlier in the season. Even on the second night of a back-to-back, they should be able to cover the 13-point spread on the road.
The Wizards still have too much for the Suns as they get the 109-101 home win.
This game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington and Fox Sports Arizona. Tip-off at Capital One Arena will be at 7:00 pm Eastern.
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