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Wizards at Suns: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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Wizards at Suns: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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…


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.


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.  


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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Five observations from Wizards' 119-109 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, including Dwight Howard's injury


Five observations from Wizards' 119-109 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, including Dwight Howard's injury

The Washington Wizards lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 119-109 on Sunday night. Here are five observations from the game...

Not good: It just keeps getting worse. The Wizards have been playing a sleepy, uninspired brand of basketball in recent games and on Sunday they met a Blazers team that does just the opposite.

The result was probably predictable. Though the Wizards edged the Blazers last month in Portland, this time they lost a game that was nowhere near as close as the final score suggested. 

Portland led by as many as 29 points and the Wizards only cut that down late when head coach Scott Brooks emptied his bench. He brought in a host of young guys who were hungry and just happy to be playing like Troy Brown Jr. and Thomas Bryant. Hopefully the starters, who have been missing those qualities, were paying attention.

These teams are currently on two entirely different trajectories. The Blazers are trending up, while the Wizards, who have lost two straight, are sliding quickly.

Washington is now 5-11 on the season. That's worse than their mark at this point two years ago when they mounted the famous comeback.

Howard hurt again: Things were already going terribly for the Wizards when they got much worse. Dwight Howard, who was coming off a huge game against the Nets, left in the second quarter after aggravating his strained piriformis muscle injury. 

Howard, of course, missed the first seven games of the year with the injury, which has also been referred to as gluteal soreness. We knew he was still dealing with discomfort when he came back and it has never really gone away.

The injury affects his ability to run and jump. He can't even sit on the bench because of the pain. The fact it's bothering him enough to leave a game is a really bad sign.

Too many fouls: Just like last game, Howard found himself entangled in foul trouble and this time he got started earlier. By the midway point of the first quarter, he had two. By the 5:30 mark of the second quarter, he had three.

At least against the Nets on Friday, Howard was effective when he was on the floor. This time, he couldn't find a rhythm. His time on the court was basically a wash.

These two games show just how easy it is for Howard to rack up fouls and how much it hurts the Wizards when he gets in foul trouble. 

Horrid start: The Wizards have had some lifeless stretches this season, far too often for the talent they have on the roster. The way they began this game was them at their absolute worst.

They just couldn't keep up with the Blazers, who were zipping the ball around the court to find open shooters. Portland built a 20-point lead in the first quarter, 32-12, as they shot 7-for-9 from three. The seventh was a wide open look by C.J. McCollum.

That's C.J. McCollum, as in one of the best shooting guards in basketball. Somehow the Wizards completely lost him and paid for it. Those are the types of plays that are hard to excuse.

Bright spots: If there were any positives to draw from this game, it was the play of Kelly Oubre Jr. and Tomas Satoransky. Neither shot the ball well, but their energy and effort were noticeable on a night when most of their teammates just didn't have it.

They were among the few Wizards players active on defense and closing out on the three-point line. They helped key a 13-0 run to end the first quarter and helped the team show some life in the second half when the game was already out of hand.

Oubre finished with 19 points, four assists, four rebounds, and three blocks. He was +14. Satoransky had 10 points, seven assists and was +22. If Brooks wants some more energy from his team, those two could provide it.


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Dwight Howard leaves Wizards-Blazers game after aggravating piriformis injury


Dwight Howard leaves Wizards-Blazers game after aggravating piriformis injury

While down big against the Blazers on Sunday night, matters got even worse for the Washington Wizards as starting center Dwight Howard exited the game after aggravating his piriformis muscle injury.

Howard initially left the game midway through the second quarter due to foul trouble. Soon after, he went to the locker room with a trainer to get treatment. Howard was clearly frustrated as he walked through the tunnel.

Howard, 32, missed the first seven games of the season due to the injury, a strained piriformis muscle. He was sidelined for all of training camp and the preseason.

The piriformis muscle is located just below the back. Howard has battled discomfort while running, jumping and even sitting while dealing with the injury.

Even when he returned, he told reporters the pain had not completely subsided.

Howard left Sunday's game with two points and three rebounds in seven minutes.

More on this story as it develops...