This was one of those solid wins for the Phoenix Suns that won't be remembered in a few months. The Washington Wizards, now 0-10 on the road, are a young team that looks completely lost on both ends of the floor. It was a win the Suns should have secured and it was good to see them take care of business in comfortable fashion.
The game was fairly close in the first half, thanks the Wizards hitting outside jump shots. Some were contested, many were not, but it was fairly evident by comparing free throw attempts through the first two quarters which team was playing better, more aggressive basketball. The Suns got to the line for 20 free throw attempts thanks in large part to the pick and roll game between Steve Nash and Hakim Warrick. The Wizards were mostly settling for long-range jumpers and only took five free throws.
Suns Coach Alvin Gentry was pleased with this team's overall effort. "Good win, I thought we played well in the second half. They shot the ball well in the first half, especially (Andray) Blatche, I thought he made a lot of shots.
"We are willing to give up challenged jump shots then have our defense broken down and the ball drove to the basket."
The game was a perfect display of how the Suns want to score the ball. They ran the pick and roll and got enough easy dunk and fouls that the Wizards were forced to bring more defenders into the lane which opened things up for the three-point shooters.
"(Hakim Warrick) was huge for us tonight," said Suns guard Jason Richardson who finished with 21 points of his own. He kept on rolling down there in the paint and they didn't have an answer for him, so he actually got some open shots for myself, Channing (Frye), Jared (Dudley), Grant (Hill) by just rolling down there and Steve finding him and just opening up the floor for everybody."
Warrick finished with 26 points on 10-13 shooting along with six rebounds.
The game was also a display of Steve Nash's mastery. He was obviously feeling physically better and had no problem running rookie star John Wall all over the court. Nash easily rubbed Wall off screens and got wide open mid-range shots -- he hit all eight of his attempts for 20 points -- and when the defense did crowd him, Nash found his open teammates in position to score.
Nash's 17 assists and perfect shooting night was only the fifth time since the 1976 NBA-ABA merger that a player has accomplished that feat. Nash has done it twice now along with John Stockton (Feb. 1994), Mark Jackson (Mar. 1987), and Magic Johnson (Nov. 1983).
"It's tough, you always have to keep yourself connected to him. With what a great player he is, he knows all the tricks of the trade to keep you on your heels and find his teammates and make shots for himself. There's a whole lot you can learn from him when we sit down and watch film," John Wall said about the schooling he took at the hands of the master.
The Suns play next on Tuesday in Portland and then come back to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.