NBA: Bradley Beal scores 34 points, Wizards beat Suns 109-99
PHOENIX — Bradley Beal was asked if there is a certain feel to a high-scoring night, moments after the Washington Wizards guard's second offensive outburst in two games.
"I don't come into a game thinking that I'm going to score 50 or 40," Beal said after scoring 34 points in the Wizards' 109-99 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday. "I play within the flow of the game. Whatever the number is, that's what the number is."
Beal made 13 of 22 shots two nights after scoring 51 points in a victory at Portland. He had 22 points in the first half, and his 85 points in two games are the most by a Wizards player over a two-game span since Gilbert Arenas had 85 in games Dec. 22 and 26, 2006.
Former Sun Markieff Morris added 21 points, and the Wizards made 51 percent of their shots. Washington has won three of four.
T.J. Warren had 23 points for Phoenix. The Suns played their first game with star guard Devin Booker sidelined with a groin injury. Booker is expected to miss two to three weeks with the left adductor strain. He was hurt Tuesday night in Toronto.
"The game comes down to the end where you give it to somebody," Suns coach Jay Triano said. "We saw Beal do it and make tough shots and our guy who does it (Booker) was on the pine."
Phoenix cut Washington's lead to two at 98-96 on Alex Len's dunk with 5:46 to play. The Suns missed two chances to draw even, and Washington outscored them 11-3 the rest of the way.
Beal took a key charge to thwart the Suns on one possession, and later got the Suns' Josh Jackson to commit his sixth foul and foul out.
Ian Manhimi made it 107-96 with a basket and free throw with 2:38 to play, and the Suns couldn't rally.
"I feel like I had an upper hand on him with him being a rookie," Beal said of Jackson. He's aggressive but our bigs were screening the mess out of him."
The Wizards took a 57-52 lead into halftime and led by as many as nine in the third.
The Suns cut the lead to three, 83-80, on Troy Daniels' 3, and on the next possession made it a one-point game with 58 seconds left in the quarter. Mike James made two free throws for the Suns' first lead of the half, but Beal banked in a runner at the quarter buzzer to give the Wizards an 85-84 lead.
The Suns have lost four of five.
Suns forward Marquese Chriss turned in the game's best defensive play when he blocked Otto Porter Jr.'s driving dunk attempt with 2:51 to go in the first half. Porter drove the lane and was met in the air by Chriss at the basket.
Chriss also provided a highlight on the offensive end with a lob dunk off a pass from Warren just before halftime.
THOUGHTS OF L.A.
Wizards coach and California native Scott Brooks was asked if he is considering practice schedule changes with the next game in wildfire-ravaged Los Angeles against the Clippers.
"We definitely monitor it, but we monitor it just for the safety of the people," Brooks said. "It's a sad situation. Hopefully all the great firemen of the state can take care of it ... Basketball's not even important. If we don't have a practice or have a shootaround it's not that big a deal."
Wizards: G John Wall missed his seventh straight game with a left knee injury, but went through a workout on the court before the game. ... The Wizards have a 63-62 lead in the series with the Suns. ... The Wizards have won consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 9-15.
Suns: James had his two-way contract changed to a standard NBA contract, and in order to make room for him on the roster, the Suns waived F Derrick Jones Jr. Jones was in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest last season. ... C Tyson Chandler was away from the team for a personal matter. ... Jackson started at guard in place of Booker, who was in street clothes on the bench. Jackson scored 10 points before fouling out.
Wizards: At Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.
Suns: Host San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night.