PHOENIX — Kyle Kuzma scored 29 points and the Washington Wizards stopped their 10-game losing streak on Tuesday night, beating the Phoenix Suns 113-110.
Washington played without Kristaps Porzingis, sidelined with what Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. called a “non-COVID illness.” But Daniel Gafford filled in at center and had 12 points and eight rebounds as the Wizards won for the first time since Nov. 28, when they beat Minnesota 142-128 in Washington.
Bradley Beal, held to two points in the first half, finished with 27 for the Wizards (12-20), including two free throws to make it a five-point lead with 14 seconds left. Deni Avdija had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Landry Shamet led the Suns with a season-high 31 points, making a career-high nine 3-pointers. Deandre Ayton had 30 points and 13 rebounds.
Devin Booker missed his second straight game with groin soreness after scoring 58 points against New Orleans on Saturday.
Earlier Tuesday, mortgage executive Mat Ishbia agreed in principle to buy a majority stake of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury from the embattled owner Robert Sarver for $4 billion.
Chris Paul, who scored 28 points against the Lakers on Monday, didn’t score Tuesday until midway through the third quarter and finished with 12 points and 10 assists.
Duane Washington Jr., in his first game back from a hip injury, scored 10 for the Suns. Mikal Bridges also scored 10.
While Washington is back, the Suns lost G Josh Okogie (right hip soreness) to the injury list as Monty Williams continues to make roster and rotation adjustments.
“You’re shuffling the deck,” the Suns coach said. “It’s up to me to figure out how to manage who’s on the floor, the combinations that help Chris, Mikal and (Ayton) have more room and at the same time putting a productive group on the floor.
“I get these texts early in the morning from (the medical department) and they give me an idea of who we’re going to have. And that allows me to prepare. It helps you from a rotation standpoint. You’re managing minutes.”
Williams said Booker will probably have an evaluation on Wednesday.
Wizards: Unseld said before the game that Porzingis woke up this morning “not feeling particularly well.” While tests came back negative for COVID-19, he missed the shootaround and was still not feeling right. “I don’t think it’s anything that’s substantial. Hopefully it’s just 24=, 48-hour variety,” Unseld said. He also said he’s hopeful that G Delon Wright, who has missed nearly two months with a right hamstring strain, could return in Washington’s next game Thursday.
Suns: Cameron Payne (foot) and Jock Landale (concussion protocol) remain sidelined along with Booker and Cam Johnson (right knee meniscus tear).
Wizards: At Utah Thursday.
Suns: Host Memphis Friday.
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