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Dario Saric to come off bench, Cam Johnson to start for Suns vs. Wizards

Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric (20) drives against Golden State Warriors forward Dragan Bender (10) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Forward Dario Saric (left ankle) will be available off the bench for the Phoenix Suns in their Orlando season restart opener against the Washington Wizards, head coach Monty Williams told reporters prior to the Friday game.

Phoenix will stick with a wing-oriented starting lineup from its third bubble exhibition game against the Toronto Raptors: Ricky Rubio and Devin Booker at guard, Cam Johnson and Mikal Bridges at forward, and Deandre Ayton as center.

Saric averaged 10.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game this season, starting 50 of 58 games played.

He sprained his left ankle in the team’s Sunday scrimmage against the Boston Celtics.

Johnson, the Suns’ 2019 first-round pick (11th overall), will make his second career start. He is averaging 8.1 points and 2.9 boards while shooting 40% from three-point range.

Williams liked the big man’s ball moving abilities, but Saric’s absences also revealed the Suns’ best lineup — Friday’s unit but with Kelly Oubre Jr. in place of Johnson.

Williams on Friday had no update on Oubre Jr., who is coming off knee surgery and was already ruled out for Friday’s game.


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