It was another tough, grind it out performance that was epitomized by P.J. Tucker leaping into the third row after a steal that Goran Dragic created in the third quarter. There is no understatement there, Tucker leaped over two rows of chairs, about six people, and landed on the stairs. That is hustle.
When Tucker got up and walked to the bench the Phoenix Suns clearly fed off of that energy and chipped away at the Washington Wizards lead that was once as large as 18 points.
The toughness of the Suns was on full display as Dragic (18 points 11 assists), Tucker (10 points 10 rebounds), and Luis Scola (11 points 5 rebounds) were going all out in this one. Those three played tough despite the deficit helping them grind it out and cut the Wizards lead to four points with under 8 minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
Grinding and playing tough basketball is quality every team currently in the lottery should exhibit, at the bare minimum at this level, and the Suns did just that. It was not enough to get the win, but showed heart on the court. Something that has been sporadic at best all season.
The Wizards closed out the game with a 88-79 win dropping the Suns to 23-46 on the season.
Tonight the Charlotte Bobcats, New Orleans Hornets, and the Wizards all won, meaning in a round about way the Suns actually won tonight. They get another full game of separation on Washington and own the opposite of a tie-breaker on them in case of a tie. That is a good thing.
Bradley Beal left the game in the fourth quarter with a left ankle sprain, Jared Dudley played despite being under the weather, and they let Shannon Fly. Just another night at U.S. Airways Center.