Suns Strokes: Wizards complete season sweep of ‘lackluster’ Suns

Mar 21, 2013, 5:44 AM | Updated: 5:57 am

Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won’t tell you everything that happened in a basketball game. So, we will give you Suns Strokes, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from the Suns’ 88-79 loss to the Wizards on March 20.

The Good:

Hmm. There was Goran Dragic who recorded his league-leading ninth double-digit assist effort since the All-Star break. There was Wes Johnson who tallied his third scoring effort of 18 or more points in eight games since being inserted into the starting lineup. There was also a Shannon Brown (DNP-Coach’s Decision in 14 of the last 15 games) appearance, which received one of the bigger reactions from the crowd. But most important, it was a loss. The Suns are now tied with the Hornets and Pistons for the fourth-worst record in the NBA.

The Bad:

The Suns lost the season series with the Wizards for the first time since 2001-02 and for just the second time overall since 1987-88 because they could not find the basket. After shooting 50 percent (11-22) in the first quarter, the Suns shot 27.8 percent (17-61) the rest of the game. Washington went on a 23-2 run as the Suns missed 13 straight attempts over a 9:10 stretch spanning the first and second quarters.

He Said It:

“Quite a lackluster effort the first half,” interim head coach Lindsey Hunter said. “I was not happy with none of our young guys. And it wasn’t about mistakes they made. It was about effort. It was about fight, having a sense of urgency. Unacceptable. This is unacceptable. That is part of the reason (Michael Beasley, Kendall Marshall, Marcus and Markieff Morris) sat and watched the second half because we are going to play guys that play the way we want to play and play the way we are going to play.”

Noted:

• Jermaine O’Neal left the game late in the fourth quarter with a strained left calf. “It’s been bothering me the last couple of days,” O’Neal said of the calf.

• Jared Dudley received an IV prior to the game and played (0 points on 0-of-3 from the field) despite feeling less than 100 percent

• Suns regular season win total (23) has now been surpassed by the Miami Heat’s current winning streak (24)

• Suns scored fewer than 80 points for the seventh time this season.

• It had been 2,281 days since the Wizards last won in Phoenix.

Up Next:

The Suns (23-46) continue the weeklong homestand with a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, March 22. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MST.

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Suns Strokes: Wizards complete season sweep of ‘lackluster’ Suns