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Bradley Beal goes off, but Wizards fall to Suns in tough loss

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Bradley Beal goes off, but Wizards fall to Suns in tough loss

The Washington Wizards lost to the Phoenix Suns 122-116 on Wednesday night at Capital One Arena. Here is analysis of what went down...

Another tough loss: Despite the benefit of two consecutive off days while their opponent was coming off a road game the night before, the Wizards couldn't keep pace with a young Suns team that made a late push to win their fourth game in their last five. The Wizards have now lost three of four with two of those coming against teams unlikely to make the playoffs. 

The Suns would be included in that category, though their growing collection of young talent was on display Wednesday night. T.J. Warren was unstoppable with 40 points and Devin Booker had 22. The Wizards dropped to 4-3 on the season and can't get Markieff Morris back soon enough.

The Wizards blew out the Kings on Sunday and this one looked headed in that direction when Washington led 32-15 after the first quarter, but the Suns dropped 37 in the second, cut the lead to three at the end of the third and took the lead at 10:44 in the fourth. The Wizards at one point held a 22-point advantage. They have led by double digits in all three of their losses this season.

Panda went off: Bradley Beal had himself a game and it was clear early he was in for a big night. Beal erupted for 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting in the first quarter, including a perfect 2-for-2 from three. By the end of the third quarter he had 30 points and when it was over he had 40.

Beal again used the free throw line to rack up points, something we have seen more of from him this season. He started being more aggressive attacking the rim last year, but now he's even more confident drawing contact and the refs are rewarding him with foul calls. He got to the line 11 times and dropped in 10 of them. Beyond Beal, only two other Wizards players reached double figures: John Wall (21 points, six assists) and Mike Scott (12 points).

The Dundie goes to...: Just like he did in the previous two games, Scott made an instant and noticeable impact off the Wizards' bench. He got hot immediately in the first quarter with seven points in four minutes including a sweet stepback fadeaway. He also knocked down a three. Scott scored all of his 12 points in his first 11 minutes.

The Wizards bought low on Scott, but through seven games appear to be getting a version of him much closer to the guy who was a rotation mainstay in Atlanta a few years ago. He is looking to regain his form and so far, so good. The problem, though, is that his minutes are likely to dry up and quickly with Morris coming back. Head coach Scott Brooks will have to figure out what to do with him and Jason Smith and it may be a night-to-night thing based on matchups.

Booker is a bad dude: Booker is quickly developing into one of the league's best shooting guards. He held his own against Beal and the Wizards to help his team get the win. By now everyone knows he can shoot, but he can also throw down some nasty dunks.

Check this one he finished after driving by Wall:

Porter out: The Wizards were without two starters on Wednesday night, not just Morris who was serving out his one-game suspension from Friday night's fight against the Golden State Warriors. Otto Porter was also out due to a stomach virus. He was nowhere to be seen pregame or on the bench, meaning the Wizards are quarantining him to make sure whatever he has doesn't spread around the locker room. They obviously want to avoid that.

Up next: The Wizards are off Thursday before hosting LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. The game isn't on NBC Sports Washington, but we will have you covered with pregame shows starting at 6 p.m.


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Utah Jazz make guard Rodney Hood available, would Wizards be a fit?


Utah Jazz make guard Rodney Hood available, would Wizards be a fit?

Momentum is building towards Utah Jazz shooting guard Rodney Hood getting dealt before next month's NBA trade deadline. Marc Stein of the New York Times reported on Saturday that multiple teams have already expressed interest in the four-year pro:

Hood, 25, is on an expiring contract and would provide scoring for a team in the market for offense. He's averaging 16.7 points this season on 41.3 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from three.

Hood isn't a very efficient player, but he can stretch the floor. He's also big for his position at 6-foot-8 and is a very good free throw shooter (86.2%).

The Wizards could use help at the shooting guard position with Bradley Beal logging heavy minutes. They have an improved bench after making several upgrades last offseason, but shooting guard Jodie Meeks has yet to establish a consistent role in their rotation due to his low shooting percentage.

The Wizards don't necessarily need offensive help, but Hood could help take pressure off of Beal. He could also play in lineups with both Beal and John Wall.

It's unclear what the Jazz want in return for Hood and whether the Wizards could make a worthy offer. If Utah is taking the longview to build for the future, that could mean a first round pick and the Wizards have already parted with their last two.

Regardless, if the Wizards decide to target shooting guards in the next few weeks, expect Hood's name to come up.


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Wall: A few teammates didn't respond well to recent team meeting

Wall: A few teammates didn't respond well to recent team meeting

Do NBA seasons even count if an emergency team meeting hasn't taken place yet? 

In what's becomming an annual right of passage for underperforming NBA teams, the Wizards recently held a team meeting to address some of the biggest issues that have been dogging them all year. 

While these meetings typically act as motivating springboards that help bring teams together, the Wizards' recent family therapy session might have done the opposite. 

Enter John Wall. Wall, who's already publically voiced concerns over the team's (lack of) effort this season, recently spoke about how the meeting might have rubbed some of his teammates the wrong way:

"At our team meeting, I think a couple guys took it in a negative way," Wall said after the team's win in Detroit. "It hurt our team. Instead of using it in a positive way like we did in the past and using it to build our team up, it kind of set us back a bit."

That's certainly not a ringing endorsement from Wall, and definitely not something you want to hear after a team meeting. Currently, however, the Wizards are back to their winning ways, coming off a nice road win in Detroit. So maybe it worked!