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News » Suns-Wizards Preview 2009-11-07

Suns-Wizards Preview 2009-11-07

Suns-Wizards Preview 2009-11-07The fast-paced Phoenix Suns haven't had any problems putting up points this season, and Jason Richardson's impressive offensive effort helped them knock off an Eastern Conference power in their most recent game.

The Washington Wizards certainly didn't have any answers for Richardson the last time they saw the Suns.

Richardson looks to build on his highest-scoring game since he last faced the Wizards as Phoenix continues a five-game road trip Sunday afternoon looking for a fifth straight win at the Verizon Center.

Richardson was suspended for the Suns' first two games following his offseason conviction on drunken driving charges, but he came back to average 18.5 points in the next two contests as part of their 4-0 start.

Richardson, though, was held scoreless for the third time in his career Wednesday as Phoenix (5-1) was blown out 122-100 at Orlando in the team's lowest-scoring game of the season.

It didn't take long for Richardson and the Suns to bounce back. The two-time Slam Dunk champion finished with 34 points and 10 rebounds Friday in Boston as Phoenix handed the Celtics their first loss, 110-103.

"They could see after the first (quarter) that I had the stroke going," said Richardson, who was 6 of 7 from 3-point range. "In this offense, every night it's going to be someone different. It was a feel tonight, like everything you throw up is going to go in. I wanted to come out, be aggressive and take it from there."

Richardson became the fifth different leading scorer this season for the Suns, whose road trip ends Monday in Philadelphia. Steve Nash (19.0 points per game) is the only one to be their high scorer in two games, but on Friday, Richardson's hot hand helped Nash finish with 12 assists.

"He's such a good player," Nash said of Richardson. "We'd like to give him every chance to be successful."

The Wizards (2-4) are very aware of Richardson's ability to take over a game. He scored a 2008-09 season-high 35 points in a 128-96 home win over Washington on March 21.

Richardson was held to nine points when the Suns visited the Wizards on Jan. 26, but Phoenix won 103-87 for its fourth straight victory in the nation's capital. Nash has averaged 18.0 points and 16.0 assists in those meetings.

The Suns have won five in a row overall against Washington since Gilbert Arenas scored 54 points in a wild 144-139 overtime win at Phoenix on Dec. 22, 2006, but Arenas has missed the last four meetings due to injury.

Arenas is healthy this season, but the Wizards are still finding their way without the injured Antawn Jamison. After winning two of their first three games, they've dropped three in a row, the latest a 102-86 loss Friday at Indiana.

"I'm very disappointed," coach Flip Saunders said after his team committed a season-high 19 turnovers. "Our effort was poor. We turned the ball over way too much. I told the guys I'm going to have to take responsibility."

Washington is shooting 38.7 percent during its three-game skid.

Arenas and Caron Butler are averaging a combined 42.0 points during that stretch, but Andray Blatche has been limited to 6.0 per game and was held to one point Friday. The fifth-year forward averaged 21.0 points in his first three games - including a career-high 30 in a win over New Jersey on Oct. 31.

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Added: November 7, 2009


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