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Wizards look to continue revival against Suns

Dec 27, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis (6) celebrates with Wizards center Daniel Gafford (21) in the final seconds against the Philadelphia 76ers in the fourth quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Wizards will look to extend a winning streak past two games for just the second time this season when they host the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.

The Wizards, who won four in a row from Nov. 7-13, have rebounded from a season-high, 10-game losing streak by earning three victories in their past four games — including a 113-110 win in Phoenix on Dec. 20. Washington fell to the Utah Jazz two nights later before posting a 125-111 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday and a 116-111 triumph vs. the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.

“I think guys are just bought into trying to get ourselves back on track and winning games, so whatever that means (to complete the task),” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr.

Kristaps Porzingis sat out the previous encounter with the Suns and the game against the Jazz due to a non-COVID illness. Porzingis looked healthy on Tuesday in his second game back as he collected 24 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and two steals to help Washington overcome Joel Embiid’s 48-point performance and snap Philadelphia’s eight-game winning streak.

Porzingis, who has a team-leading 11 double-doubles on the season, has scored at least 20 points in 11 of his past 13 appearances.

Washington’s Bradley Beal recorded 19 points and five assists on Tuesday before exiting in the fourth quarter with a left hamstring injury. Beal tossed his headband in frustration as he slowly walked to the locker room.

“We’ll let him get evaluated. We’re not really sure at this point (of) the severity,” Unseld said of Beal, who missed six games earlier this month with a right hamstring injury.

Corey Kispert likely would get the start on Wednesday if Beal is unable to play.

Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma recorded 14 points and eight rebounds on Tuesday, one week after he drained five 3-pointers and finished with 29 points against Phoenix.

The Suns snapped a three-game skid with a 125-108 road victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.

Duane Washington Jr. contributed a career-high 26 points and eight assists off the bench. He sank 10 of 21 shots from the floor and 5 of 9 from 3-point range.

Deandre Ayton recorded 15 points and 10 rebounds and Chris Paul added 14 points and six assists to help the Suns, who have scored at least 125 points in three of their past five games.

The Tuesday offensive surge was welcome for Phoenix, which played without three-time All-Star guard Devin Booker (groin).

“He’s getting more evaluation back in Phoenix. He can get the best care back there,” Suns coach Monty Williams said of Booker, who averages a team-high 27.1 points per game and is second on the team with 5.6 assists per contest.

Phoenix also played without Landry Shamet (right Achilles soreness) and Cameron Payne (right foot strain).

Shamet drained a career-high nine 3-pointers and scored a career-best 31 points in the Suns’ loss to Washington last week. He matched that point total in Phoenix’s 128-125 overtime loss at Denver on Sunday.

–Field Level Media