Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre and the Washington Wizards battle T.J. Warren, Alex Len, Josh Jackson and the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.
Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT PHOENIX SUNS
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena
Tip-off: 9 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 8 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
Looking for consistency
The Wizards have managed a 3-3 record since John Wall had PRP treatment on his left knee and are 4-4 without him this season. Overall, that's an excellent mark all things considered, but the ups and downs have been dramatic and the last two games provide an extreme example. On Monday, they suffered the second-worst loss in their franchise history. The next night, Bradley Beal went off for one of the best games ever seen from a Wizards or Bullets player.
On Thursday, the Wizards will attempt to do something they have yet to without Wall: win two straight games. The stage is actually set for the Wizards to pile up some wins as Wall finishes off his recovery. They play the Suns, Clippers and Nets coming up and all are missing key players.
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No Booker for Suns
The Suns will be without their best player on Thursday night as star shooting guard Devin Booker is sidelined for the next several weeks with a strained left abductor. That's a huge loss for the Suns, a young team trying to find its way. Booker averages 24.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists and is one of the best young players in the NBA.
With Booker out of the picture, the Suns will likely feature 24-year-old forward T.J. Warren heavily. Warren is averaging 18.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and is shooting 49.5 percent from the field despite presenting no threat from three-point range. Warren had a career-high of 40 points against the Wizards in their first meeting on Nov. 1.
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Looking for revenge
The last time these teams saw each other, the Suns were missing a key player in Eric Bledsoe (before he was traded to Milwaukee) yet they pulled off a stunning upset in Washington. The Wizards led by as much as 22 points, but Phoenix came back and stole the victory. Warren was a big reason for that, but Booker also had 22 points.
It's unlikely that Warren kills them again, given the Wizards were without both Otto Porter and Markieff Morris in the first meeting. Those are their two starting forwards and Warren would have had to deal with them. Beyond Warren, watch out for Josh Jackson, the fourth overall pick. He hasn't had the best start to his career, but he has star potential and could go off if the Wizards aren't careful. Also, former Maryland standout Alex Len has started to turn a corner. He's averaging 9.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
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