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Rapid Recap: Shorthanded Suns fall apart, drop game to Wizards, 113-110

Missing several key players the Suns just didn’t have the right mix to close it out

NBA: Washington Wizards at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Despite 30-point nights from Deandre Ayton and Landry Shamet, the Phoenix Suns were unable to overcome a lengthy list of inactive players, losing to the Washington Wizards 113-110.

That injury report included Devin Booker, Cam Johnson, Josh Okogie, Cam Payne, Jock Landale, and Jae Crowder. Wizards were missing some as well, including Kristaps Porzingis and Rui Hachimura.

The Suns had a 10-point lead in the middle of the fourth quarter, but lost their way in a 19-2 Wizards run that out the game out of reach, 109-100 with under a minute left.

Suns struggled to make much happen offensively in the first quarter if it wasn’t Deandre Ayton or Torrey Craig having more energy than their opponent in just about every matchup. The frontcourt duo combined for 16 of Phoenix’s 30 first quarter points and 10 of their 14 first quarter rebounds.

I enjoyed the opportunity to closely watch two Washington forwards, Kyle Kuzma and Deni Avdija, since I have interest in them as prospective Suns. Kuzma, especially, played well in the first quarter, posting 10 points, three rebounds, and three assists in the initial frame.

Into the second, Landry Shamet kept the boat afloat for the offense, finishing with 14 points (4-6 3P) in his 15 first half minutes. As Washington would try from time to time to extend their lead into double digits, Shamet or one of the other Suns were there to keep Phoenix close.

After only being down 48-53 at the break, the Suns came out flat to start the third. The Wizards got out to a 7-0 run to force Monty Williams to call time having played just over a minute and a half. Washington’s lead would grow to 17 points before Phoenix started their climb back into it midway through the third.

Shamet scored Phoenix’s final five points in the third before erupting for his best quarter of the season. Doing his best Devin Booker impression, Shamet finished the fourth with 12 points and four assists, including three three-pointers in the final 20 seconds of the game to make the score look closer than the game actually was.

Ayton posted the statline of the night with 30 points and 13 rebounds in 32 minutes, but he was -16 for the contest, which was one of the three worst marks of the game. It was also another instance of his final three quarters (18 points) not quite living up to the strength of his first quarter (12 points).

Up next for the Suns is a couple of much-needed days off which should give Phoenix a chance to hopefully get a few players off the injury report. A primetime ESPN matchup against the West-leading Memphis Grizzlies at Footprint Center awaits the Suns on Friday.

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