Wizards Face Shaq and the Phoenix Suns
Carla Peay €" WI Sports Editor | 1/26/2009, 12:29 p.m.
The Washington Wizards will face Shaquille O€Neal, Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire and the Phoenix Suns at the Verizon Center on Mon. Jan. 26. The Suns are 24-18; 12-10 on the road.
The Wizards just returned from a four-game west coast road trip, where the faced the Golden State Warriors, the Sacramento kings, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Portland Trailblazers. The Wizards went 1-3 on the road, with the only victory coming against the Kings in a 110-107 game on Tue. Jan. 20. The other games were all double-digit losses, bringing the Wizards to 9-34 on the season, which is last in the Eastern Conference, and only one loss better than the Oklahoma City Thunder (9-35) who have the worst record in the NBA.
€It says it right there in black and white. That's who we are. We can't hide from it,€ said veteran forward Caron Butler, the team's co-captain, discussing the team€s dismal record this season.
Game Notes: Courtesy of the Washington Wizards
€ Tonight€s contest is the first meeting between the Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns this season. The two teams will meet again on March 21st in Phoenix. The Suns took both games from the Wizards last season. The Suns won the first matchup, 122-107 on December 7, 2007 in Washington and 108-107 on February 10, 2008 in Phoenix.
€ Last Game€The Wizards were defeated by the Portland Trail Blazers, 100-87, at the Rose Garden on January 24th...Caron Butler led Washington with 31 points, 10 rebounds and five assists... Antawn Jamison scored 19 points on 8-of-14 from the field and grabbed four rebounds...Juan Dixon scored 13 points in 23:46 minutes of play off of the bench.
€ Antawn Jamison averaged 22.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in two rebounds against Phoenix last season.
€ Andray Blatche posted two of his nine doubles during last season against the Suns. Blatche averaged 14.5 points and 10.5 rebounds against Phoenix in two games last season.
€ Jamison is averaging 23.4 points and 6.8 rebounds in his last five games.
€ Jamison has scored in double figures in 38 straight games and 42 of 43 games this season.
€ Dominic McGuire has grabbed 10 or more rebounds in six games this season.
€ Caron Butler is shooting 54 percent from the field (27-of-50) in his last three games. Butler is also shooting 6-of-13 from three-point range in three games.
€ Nick Young surpassed his career-high in the scoring column for the third time in less than a week (1/9-1/14). Young posted his second straight 30 point game off the bench and second of his career with 33 points on 13-of-17 shooting from the field versus the Knicks in New York (1/14). Young became the first player since 1970-71 to post consecutive 30 points games in Wizards franchise history. The second year guard scored 15 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter.
€ Blatche is currently averaging a career-high in points per game (10.1), rebounds per game (5.4) and field goal percentage (48.3).
€ Butler, Blatche and Jamison scored at least 20 points in two consecutive Wizards contests (1/19 @ GS and 1/21 @ SAC). The last time the same Wizards trio scored at least 20 points in consecutive contests occurred in January of 2007. The big three of Jamison, Butler and Gilbert Arenas accomplish the feat on back-to-back nights in wins at Orlando (Jamison 31, Arenas 30, Butler 20 (1/19/07) and versus Boston (Jamison 23, Butler 23, Arenas 22 (1/20/07).
€ Darius Songaila leads the team in field goal percentage shooting 51.9 percent.
€ Washington-Phoenix 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€Gilbert Arenas (31st overall) and Phoenix guard Jason Richardson (5th overall) were both 2001 draft picks of the Golden State Warriors.