NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 20th (All times Eastern)
Washington Wizards (23-43) at Phoenix Suns (23-45), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Washington Wizards dropped the first game of a four- game road trip, but will try and get back on track Wednesday night in Phoenix against the Suns.
The Wizards fell to the Charlotte Bobcats 119-114 on Monday and have stops in Los Angeles against the Lakers and Oakland to meet the Warriors left on the trek.
Washington blew a lead late in Charlotte and turned it over on four of five possessions with 2:49 left in the game. The Bobcats converted all four miscues into points and finished the game on a 13-3 run.
John Wall, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, had 25 points and five assists before he fouled out. Nene added 21 and Emeka Okafor and Garrett Temple both scored 17. Martell Webster chipped in 12 points.
The Wizards are 5-26 on the road and that is the worst record in the NBA. Head coach Randy Wittman has a theory as to why.
"We don't have a different mindset on the road, and you have too," Wittman said. "You can't play the same way you do at home on the road. I have to find a way to change our mindset. We have to come out with energy and effort defensively to step on them right from the beginning. I give Charlotte credit, they shot the ball well, played well, but I'm really disappointed in our mindset. That's one of the reasons why we have five wins on the road. It's got to change or you're just going to continue to play this way on the road."
The Suns returned home after an 0-3 road swing through the south and pummeled the Los Angeles Lakers, 99-76 on Monday. The Suns were five ahead after three quarters, then crushed the Lakers, who were without Kobe Bryant, 28-10 in the final frame.
Bryant seemingly guaranteed a victory on Twitter, but the Suns didn't abide.
"It's the Lakers, it's the Suns, there is bad blood built up over the years," said Jared Dudley. "Our fans don't like them, and their fans don't like us. We just feed off that energy. For a young team, that excites us and you could see that we got up to play more tonight. You could tell in the lay-up line, guys were sweating a little bit more."
Six Suns players scored in double figures, but no one managed more than 14, which both Wesley Johnson and Luis Scola posted. Dudley, Goran Dragic, Kendall Marshall and Michael Beasley were the other Phoenix players in double digits.
The Wizards hammered the Suns, 127-105, at home on Saturday, but have had trouble in Phoenix of late. Washington has lost five straight in the desert dating back to Dec. 22, 2006.
03/20 10:27:33 ET