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Wizards get much-needed win in the desert

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Wizards get much-needed win in the desert

Markieff Morris overcame a rude welcome in his Phoenix return by scoring 21 points and helping the Washington Wizards beat the Suns 106-99 Friday night in a much-needed victory for their playoff hopes.

John Wall added 22 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists, and Brandon Beal scored 21 points for the Wizards, who moved within 2 1/2 games of idle Indiana for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Morris, whose tumultuous 4 1/2-year Phoenix stint ended when he was dealt to the Wizards on Feb. 18, was booed in introductions and every time he touched the ball. But he shot 8 of 14 and grabbed nine rebounds as the Wizards rallied to snap a two-game losing streak.

Mirza Teletovic had 24 points and 12 rebounds off the bench for the Suns, who got 14 points on 6-of-22 shooting by rookie Devin Booker in their fifth straight loss.

Hours after telling reporters he had "no trust" with the Suns, Morris was the focus of the night. But the Wizards needed a strong fourth quarter to avoid another damaging loss to a lottery-bound team.

Two nights after a disheartening defeat in Sacramento in which guard Bradley Beal said his team "gave up," the Wizards trailed by eight points in the third quarter and 79-77 entering the fourth.

But the Wizards dominated the final period as the Suns started throwing the ball away without injured point guard Brandon Knight. Two consecutive hoops by Ramon Sessions put the Wizards up 96-87 with 5 minutes left and secured a happy return for Morris.

Things turned sour for the forward last summer when he demanded a trade after the Suns dealt his twin Marcus to Detroit.

But there have been numerous other incidents that drew the fans' ire. He and his brother were arrested last year on felony assault charges. He criticized the fans for lack of support following a 27-point home loss last season.

Morris was suspended after he threw a towel at then-coach Jeff Hornacek during a December loss to Denver. He then had a bench altercation with teammate Archie Goodwin shortly before the Feb. 18 trade to the Wizards.

"It's just tough to do certain things with no trust and play for people you really don't trust," Morris said at shootaround, declining to elaborate.

Washington was three games out of a playoff berth when they acquired Morris, and entered the night in the same position. The Suns are rooting for the Wizards' demise, as they acquired their first-round draft pick in exchange for Morris and will get it this year if it's outside the top nine.

But despite Phoenix's 56-44 rebounding edge, they couldn't hold on as Washington won for the second time in six games.

P.J. Tucker had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Tyson Chandler added 11 points and 15 boards for Phoenix.

TIP-INS

Wizards: Another former Sun, C Marcin Gortat, was cheered when he was introduced. ... Coach Randy Wittman disagreed with Beal's assessment of their recent struggles. "It's not a lack of effort, it's lack of being on the same page," Wittman said, citing missed defensive assignments. ... F Alan Anderson (ankle) didn't dress.

Suns: Knight's sports hernia issue has flared up again. Coach Earl Watson said it's possible they'll shut him down for the rest of the season. ... Ronnie Price started in Knight's place and was 1 of 8 from the field.

UP NEXT

Wizards: At the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

Suns: Home vs. Utah on Sunday.

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5 things to know about new Wizards player Ramon Sessions

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Associated Press

5 things to know about new Wizards player Ramon Sessions

The Washington Wizards signed point guard Ramon Sessions to a 10-day free agent contract on Thursday. Here are five things to know about the newest Wizards player...

**Sessions has played for Washington before. He was acquired by the Wizards at the trade deadline in 2015 and played out the 2014-15 season, appearing in 28 regular season games and 10 more in the playoffs. Sessions then spent the whole 2015-16 season with the team before leaving the following summer to sign a free agent deal with the Charlotte Hornets. In 1 1/2 seasons with the Wizards, Sessions averaged 9.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds. He shot 46 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from three.

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**Sessions played one season for the Hornets and spent part of this year with the New York Knicks. The Knicks waived Sessions on Jan. 13. Over the past two seasons in Charlotte and New York, Sessions has averaged 5.7 points, 2.5 assists and 1.4 rebounds while shooting 37 percent.

**This is Sessions' 11th NBA season. In addition to the Wizards, Hornets and Knicks, he has spent time with the Bucks, Cavs, Lakers and Kings. He began his career in Milwaukee after getting selected in the second round of the 2007 draft.

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**Sessions went to the University of Nevada from 2004 through 2007 and left an impressive legacy as one of the best players in the program's history. The school's practice facility is, in fact, named after Sessions. It is called the 'Ramon Sessions Basketball Performance Center' and Sessions donated $1 million towards construction costs.

**Sessions overlapped with former Wizards player JaVale McGee at Nevada. Sessions was in his final season as a junior when McGee was a freshman. The Wolfpack were quite good that year. They peaked at No. 10 in the nation, the highest ranking in school history, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

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Remember Ramon Sessions? Wizards bring back familiar face, sources confirm

Remember Ramon Sessions? Wizards bring back familiar face, sources confirm

For the Wizards, with a tough stretch coming and with John Wall still sidelined, depth and health is of the utmost importance.

With the team set to begin the second half of the 2018 NBA season on Thursday night against the Cavaliers, Scott Brooks and company decided to make a move to shore up their backcourt depth, a commodity the team cannot have enough of.

Veteran guard Ramon Sessions, who spent the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons in Washington, D.C., has been signed by the Wizards to a ten-day contract, NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller confirms.

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The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN . Sessions played in 110 games for the Wizards over the course of his two seasons, playing in all 82 games during the 2015-16 season.

He joins the Wizards again having been waived by the New York Knicks on Jan. 13. Sessions averaged 12.8 mpg in 13 games for the Knicks.

Sessions is rejoining a former team for the third time in his career, having played in Milwaukee and Charlotte on two separate occasions.