Phoenix 103, Wizards 87
It's official. The team with the worst record in the NBA resides in the nation's capital. About a half hour after the Washington Wizards lost for the 35th time this season, the Oklahoma City Thunder won for the 10th time this season. Now the Wizards (9-35) sit alone at the cellar of the league for the first time since opening the season at 0-6.
The Oklahoma City Thunder has gone 7-7 over its past 14 games to surpass the Wizards, who have proven to be consistently bad, if anything else. "Groundhog day," as Antawn Jamison described the loss to Phoenix.
Once again, the Wizards got all that they could out of Jamison and Caron Butler, but they couldn't find a third or fourth offensive weapon to keep pace with the high-scoring Suns, who had three players score at least 20 points in Shaquille O'Neal (29), Leandro Barbosa (23) and Amare Stoudemire (22). Butler led the Wizards with 28 points and Jamison had his 21st double-double with 27 points and 13 rebounds. They combined to shoot 17 for 40, accounting for almost half of the Wizards' 81 field goal attempts. The rest of the team shot 15 of 41.
The key to the game was the fourth quarter, when the Suns outscored the Wizards 28-14. Barbosa scored 10 points during a 12-6 run that opened the period and gave Phoenix an 87-79 lead. The Wizards had a scare with 4:11 in the period when Andray Blatche tried to take Shaq one-on-one along the baseline. O'Neal appeared to kick Blatche in the left leg, and as Blatche tried to dribble the ball between his legs he went sprawling to the floor, where he rolled around for several minutes, writhing in pain. He had an X-ray afterward, which Blatche said didn't reveal anything.
Blatche said afterward that he didn't know exactly what caused the injury, which the team is listing as a left knee strain. Blatche put a protective sleeve on his left knee after the game and limped out of the locker room, dragging his leg. "It's fine when I don't put pressure on it. When I start walking, it hurts," said Blatche, adding that he will attempt to practice on Tuesday. "That was the scariest thing ever. I thought it was something serious. I felt a pop. It should be fine. I should be back out at practice."
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