Balanced Suns cruise past Wizards, tie Warriors for NBA lead

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  • Phoenix Suns
    Phoenix Suns
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  • Washington Wizards
    Washington Wizards
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  • Devin Booker
    Devin Booker
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  • Deandre Ayton
    Deandre Ayton
    Bahamian basketball player

PHOENIX (AP) — JaVale McGee scored 17 points, Deandre Ayton added 15 and the Phoenix Suns cruised to a 118-98 victory over the Washington Wizards on Thursday night.

The McGee-Ayton center combo dominated the interior, with the Suns scoring 58 points in the paint. All five starters and eight total players scored in double figures. Landry Shamet had 16 points and made four 3-pointers, and Chris Paul had 12 points and six assists.

The Suns pulled even with Golden State for the NBA lead at 23-5. They have won 22 of their past 24 games dating to Oct. 27.

Washington has lost four straight and seven of its last eight to fall to 15-15. Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting, but the rest of the team couldn't muster much offense.

The Suns led for nearly the entire night and had a 62-50 advantage at the break. Ayton had 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the first half. Beal led the Wizards with 20 points.

COUNTING ON CAM

Backup forward Cam Johnson has been crucial for the Suns during All-Star guard Devin Booker's injury absence. Johnson came into Thursday averaging more than 14 points in the six games Booker's missed, which ranks second on the team. Johnson finished with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range, against the Wizards.

TIP-INS

Wizards: Washington had just 11 available players. G Spencer Dinwiddie (right knee maintenance) was among those who didn't play ... Starting G Aaron Holiday picked up three fouls in the first four minutes.

Suns: Booker (left hamstring) missed his seventh straight game. The two-time All-Star has been on the floor some during practice but coach Monty Williams said there was still no timetable for his return. ... The Suns shot 57% from the field in the first half. ... All five Suns starters had at least 10 points by the end of the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Wizards: At Utah on Saturday night.

Suns: Host Charlotte on Sunday night.

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

David Brandt, The Associated Press

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