This game marks the second and final of two meetings between Washington and Phoenix this season. Phoenix was victorious in the first meeting this season, 122-107, at Verizon Center on December 7. The Wizards and Suns split their season-series in five straight seasons, and in six of the last seven campaigns. Washington swept the Suns in 2001-02, but needs a win tonight to avoid being swept by Phoenix for the first time since the 1999-00 season.
The Wizards won their lone game in Phoenix in both of the two previous seasons. Washington last lost in Arizona on December 18, 2004.
Washington will look to snap a season-high six-game losing streak. With a win against the Suns, the Wizards will avoid their first seven-game losing streak since March 5-16, 2004.
Wizards forward Andray Blatche finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks as a starter in Washington’s last game. In six starts this season, Blatche has averaged 15.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. With the Clippers’ Chris Kaman, Orlando’s Dwight Howard and Houston’s Yao Ming, Blatche is one of only four players in the NBA averaging at least 15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks per game as a starter this season.
In Washington’s last game (L, 111-100 at DEN, 2/8)…Antawn Jamison had a team-high 21 points in defeat…Andray Blatche grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds and scored 14 points to record his fifth double-double of the season…Nick Young connected on 7-of-13 field goal attempts and 5-of-6 free throws en route to scoring a career-high 19 points…Darius Songaila finished with a season-high 15 points…DeShawn Stevenson’s 15 points gave Washington five players in double figures in scoring…Already with Caron Butler, Gilbert Arenas and Etan Thomas sidelined due to injury, Antonio Daniels was limited to less than seven minutes of action with right knee tendinitis.
Last time vs. Phoenix…(L, 107-122 vs. PHX, 12/7)…Seven Wizards scored in double figures; the only time this season in which seven different Wizards scored 10+ points apiece in a game…Andray Blatche scored a team-high 19 points, and with his 10 rebounds recorded a double-double…Roger Mason contributed 15 points…Nick Young finished 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting…Antonio Daniels led the Wizards with seven assists…Phoenix’s Steve Nash established a new Verizon Center-record with 19 assists.
Last season vs. Phoenix…The Wizards and Suns each won a game on the other’s home court…Caron Butler averaged 29.0 points in two games vs. Phoenix…Phoenix’s Steve Nash accounted for 34.5 points and 13.0 assists per game against Washington…The Wizards’ win came via a 144-139 overtime decision in Arizona on December 22; a game in which Washington’s Gilbert Arenas set a new US Airways Center scoring record with 54 points.
Wizards-Suns connections…Caron Butler and Phoenix’s Shaquille O’Neal were part of the Lakers-Heat trade that sent Shaq to Miami and made Butler a Laker…DeShawn Stevenson and Phoenix’s Grant Hill are former Orlando Magic teammates…Antawn Jamison and Steve Nash played together in Dallas…Jamison and Suns Head Coach Mike D’Antoni represented the United States in FIBA World Championship play in 2006…Suns’ rookie DJ Strawberry played collegiately at the University of Maryland.