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Similar? Not by a long shot
The suspicion the Wizards and Suns would be able to fashion another gem turned out to be grossly false on Fun Street last night.
This one was over before many in the sellout crowd were finished with their first hot dog and beer.
The Suns sent the Wizards into early submission with a barrage of 3-pointers that blunted any thought of a comeback.
In stretching their winning streak to 14 games, the Suns defeated the Wizards 127-105 and punctured the notion that these are two teams of similar strengths.
This notion was established in Phoenix last month, when the Wizards outlasted the hosts 144-139 in overtime behind the 54 points of Gilbert Arenas.
The Wizards were aided then by a fairly effective sixth man called Mother Nature. The Suns did not arrive to the arena until about two hours before tipoff after being stuck in Denver for two days because of a snow storm.
Arenas has embraced the Wizards being the Suns of the East, both a style of play and mind-set that was encouraged by Ernie Grunfeld and Eddie Jordan in the offseason.
This is the Suns as defined down in the Eastern Conference.
The Wizards have executed the game plan with a modicum of conviction and success, although it helps appreciably that they are in the junior-varsity circuit of the NBA.
The latter was apparent as the Wizards found themselves buckling to the will of Steve Nash, who makes the game look so easy, so simple.
His numbers came with a startling efficiency, while Arenas labored much of the way.
Arenas worked way too hard. The combination of a big deficit and his competitive instincts intruded on his decision-making process and led to far too many low-percentage forays.
If Arenas was in the top tier of MVP candidates going into the game, he is not there any longer.
Nash thoroughly outplayed Arenas in never losing his sense of cool.
The Wizards and Suns started out a crisp pace, quick shot followed by quick shot, a pursuit that resulted in the quick demise of the home team.
By John R. Bolton
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