Rui Hachimura helps Wizards beat short-handed Suns, 127-102

Dec 28, 2022, 4:47 AM | Updated: 7:38 pm
Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) celebrates with center Kristaps Porzingis (6) after Ha...

Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) celebrates with center Kristaps Porzingis (6) after Hachimura scored during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

              Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis (6) shoots against Phoenix Suns forward Torrey Craig (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Washington. The Wizards won 127-102. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) passes the ball away from Phoenix Suns forward Josh Okogie (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul brings the ball up during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) shoots against Washington Wizards center Daniel Gafford (21) and forward Kyle Kuzma (33) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Washington Wizards guard Monte Morris (22) passes the ball away from Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma (33) reacts after he made a 3-point basket during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Washington Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. points during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija dunks next to Phoenix Suns center Jock Landale, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Washington. The Wizards won 127-102. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Phoenix Suns center Jock Landale (11) fouls Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Washington. The Wizards won 127-102. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis (6) goes to the basket against Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) and center Deandre Ayton (22) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Washington. The Wizards won 127-102. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) celebrates with center Kristaps Porzingis (6) after Hachimura scored during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rui Hachimura matched his career high with 30 points and converted a pivotal three-point play to help the Washington Wizards pull away for a 127-102 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night in a meeting of depleted teams.

“I think right away his level of aggression, you could tell,” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said about Hachimura, who finished 11 of 13 from the floor. “He was not only playing downhill, but he was taking the right types of shots. He played with a sense of urgency.”

Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma each had 22 points for Washington as three-time Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal sat out with hamstring soreness. The Wizards shot 57.3% from the floor, outscored the Suns 60-28 in the paint and outrebounded them 46-30.

Deandre Ayton scored 31 points for the Suns, who said Wednesday that All-Star guard Devin Booker will miss at least four weeks because of a left groin strain.

Chris Paul added 20 points as Phoenix led only once on the opening basket while falling to 1-2 on a six-game road trip. The Suns also are missing the injured Cam Johnson, Cam Payne and Landry Shamet.

“Look, they beat us,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “They attacked us. Close-outs tonight weren’t great. And in that third quarter and beginning of the fourth, it was just one close-out after another and they were getting to the rim. So that probably hurt us more than anything.”

The Suns’ ugly night finished with four technical fouls after halftime and a fan near the Phoenix bench being ejected in the final two minutes.

“We finished the third really well. I think that was important,” Porzingis said. “That kind of set the tone for the fourth quarter also.”

It was far more competitive until Hachimura’s pivotal driving layup over Ish Wainright led to a three-point play to put Washington ahead 86-82 with 1:56 left in the third.

Entering that possession, the Suns had whittled a nine-point halftime deficit to one, and Hachimura was initially whistled for a charge on the play.

Unseld challanged and the call was reversed with Wainright assessed a block. And Hachimura’s layup and foul shot set in motion a 19-5 run that put the game out of reach.

“Usually I’m more hesitant to use it until late in the game,” Unseld said. “But I felt like that was a momentum stretch there.”

BOOKER SHELVED

The Suns said Booker will be re-evaluated after the four weeks.

“It’s the nature of a guy who puts in a lot of work and lays everything on the line,” Williams said pregame. “You’re going to run into this from time to time. I’m actually grateful, you know, that it wasn’t worse.”

Booker is averaging a career-high 27.1 points and already topped 50 points twice this season. But the 26-year-old has already missed seven of the last 10 games with hamstring and groin ailments. He played only four minutes on Christmas Day against the Denver Nuggets before departing.

TIP-INS

Suns: C Bismack Biyombo was listed as questionable (right knee) and played five minutes, all before halftime. … Ayton scored 16 points in the second quarter and picked up his technical with 2:55 to play in the third. … G Damion Lee, coach Monty Williams and Paul got technicals in the fourth.

Wizards: Hachimura eclipsed his previous season high on a runner that took his total to 24 points and extended Washington’s lead to 110-96 midway through the fourth quarter. … Beal has missed 13 games so far this season for a range of injury and illness reasons. He’s day-to-day going forward, Unseld said.

UP NEXT

Suns: At Toronto on Friday night.

Wizards: At Orlando on Friday night.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

United States' Mikaela Shiffrin speeds down the course during an alpine ski, women's World Cup slal...
Associated Press

US skier Shiffrin leads slalom in pursuit of record 86th win

SPINDLERUV MLYN, Czech Republic (AP) — American skier Mikaela Shiffrin had what she called a “perfect run” to lead a women’s World Cup slalom after the opening leg Sunday as she approached the all-time record for the most career wins with 86. If Shiffrin wins the race, she matches Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark’s best mark […]
1 day ago
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece yells out after losing a point to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the ...
Associated Press

Djokovic beats Tsitsipas for 10th Australian Open, 22nd Slam

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic was simply too good at the most crucial moments and claimed his 10th Australian Open championship and 22nd Grand Slam title overall by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) in the final at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night. The victory allows Djokovic to return to No. […]
1 day ago
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Troy Stecher, left, taunts Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras after Zebr...
Associated Press

Zegras scores in OT, Ducks beat Coyotes for 3rd win a row

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Trevor Zegras scored at 3:34 of overtime and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Saturday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season. John Klingberg stole the puck from Matias Maccelli in the offensive zone and found Zegras in the slot for a wrist shot for […]
1 day ago
Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) and Cody Ceci (5) celebrate a goal against the Chicago Blackha...
Associated Press

Oilers head into All-Star break with win over Blackhawks

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Tyson Barrie scored twice, Connor McDavid had his NHL-best 41st goal and the Edmonton Oilers headed into their All-Star break with a 7-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman each had a goal and two assists, and Evander Kane and Ryan McLeod also […]
1 day ago
Seattle Kraken center Ryan Donato, rear, watches as the puck rests behind Columbus Blue Jackets goa...
Associated Press

Wennberg scores against former team, Kraken top Blue Jackets

SEATTLE (AP) — Alex Wennberg scored midway through the second period against his former team to help the Seattle Kraken beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Saturday night. Wennberg, who was drafted by the Blue Jackets in the first round in 2013, had his 10th goal of the season in his 600th career game. […]
1 day ago
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers forward Jera...
Associated Press

Achiuwa leads Raptors to 123-105 win over Trail Blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Precious Achiuwa scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in place of the injured OG Anunoby to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 123-105 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night. Pascal Siakam scored 24 points and Gary Trent Jr. added 19 against his former team for the Raptors, […]
1 day ago
Rui Hachimura helps Wizards beat short-handed Suns, 127-102