After producing their longest home win streak in five seasons, the Phoenix Suns are on the verge of matching their longest skid on their own floor in this campaign, and they showed some frustration again in their latest defeat.
The Washington Wizards will try to add to that while earning their fifth win in six road games Wednesday night.
Phoenix (26-20) had won seven in a row at home, including the first four of a franchise-record eight consecutive games there, before falling 113-111 to Houston on a buzzer beater Friday. The Suns were then routed 120-100 by the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday and are one loss from matching their three-game home skid Dec. 9-15.
Markieff Morris was benched for the much of the second half in that latest defeat after drawing a technical foul, and Goran Dragic sat out the final 18-plus minutes in the loss to the Rockets after getting a technical. That defeat to Houston also followed a 14-4 stretch.
"It’s driving us all crazy with the technicals. We’re going to get it straight whether they like it or not," coach Jeff Hornacek said. "It’s aggravating. We’re arguing on calls that we even get.
"Something’s going to have to be done. … Either we continue to sit them like this or we’ll get new guys in here that want to win a championship. I believe when you’re yelling at the referees all the time, you’ve got no shot."
Isaiah Thomas tried to make up for Morris’ absence by scoring 25 points, and he’s averaged 24.5 while shooting 55.9 percent in his last four games. The Suns have scored 100 or more points in 17 of their last 18 games, averaging 112.1 in that stretch, but have allowed 115.3 in their last three contests.
Thomas had just 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting in a 104-92 win in Washington on Dec. 21 but six players scored in double figures, led by 17 from Markieff Morris and Eric Bledsoe. The Suns outshot the Wizards 51.3 to 41.0 percent while ending their season-high six-game win streak.
Phoenix has won back-to-back games in the series after losing three in a row but has lost in each of the past two visits from Washington (31-15) after winning 20 of the prior 23.
The Wizards improved to 2-1 on their four-game road trip with a 98-92 comeback win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. John Wall had 21 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds while rallying his team from a 19-point deficit.
Wall was dealing with a sore Achilles tendon and a migraine headache then aggravated his ankle when he stepped on a cameraman late in the victory. Veteran forward Paul Pierce sat out that game because of a sore toe.
"I’m just a competitive person," Wall said. "I’m just a guy that doesn’t want to let my guys down. … I don’t like to sit out games. I sat out too many (in) my first three years."
Wall missed 10 of 15 shots and had 14 points in last month’s loss to Phoenix. He’s averaged 21.7 points while shooting 57.8 percent on the road trip and has a combined 29 assists in the past two games.
Bledsoe has at least 17 points and six assists in a career-high four consecutive games. He’s averaged 19.0 points and 6.0 assists in his last three contests against Washington.