Webster has been one of the NBA’s most consistent marksmen from beyond the three-point line this season, but he had never been better than Saturday night against a Suns team that rarely stepped out to contest any of his shots, giving him ample time and space to have the best night of his professional career. After scoring a career-high 34 points, Webster again honored his favorite NBA player growing up by lacing up another pair of Jordan’s shoes, as he often does, win or lose.
“He studies Jordan all the time, too. He thinks he’s Jordan,” rookie Bradley Beal said, shaking his head with a laugh. “I might have to start calling him Jordan; he’s dropping 30.”
The Wizards (23-42) have waited all season to have a player reach 30 points in a game — the backcourt of the future, Beal and John Wall, have both had individual highs of 29 points in games — but as the season began, Webster may have been the most unlikely candidate. Waived unceremoniously by Minnesota after a second straight, injury-plagued season, Webster was unsure about how many minutes would play or his role, but has emerged as an indispensable player with his shooting after signing a one-year deal in Washington last August. Wall said he has already made a pitch to owner Ted Leonsis to keep Webster beyond this season.
“I already talked to Ted about that. That’s an easy, hands-down question about trying to get him back here,” Wall said after recording his eighth double-double of the season (17 points, 11 assists) while adding three steals and an impressive block on Suns point guard Goran Dragic. “Him being a free agent. A lot of people are going to come after him, especially after the season he is having. He is a having a big night for us every night.”
The Wizards snapped a 10-game losing streak against Phoenix, dating from Dec. 22, 2006, and have won four in a row at Verizon Center as they prepare to play six of the next seven games on the road.
They also improved to 18-14 since John Wall made his season debut. And while Wall had to take a backseat to Webster — who extended his string of consecutive games with at least four three-pointers to five — the former No. 1 overall pick was in complete control of the game in other areas. He picked off Dragic, leading to a fast-break dunk, and consistently jumped and whipped passes to his teammates in the corner for open three-pointers.
Early in the third quarter, Wall was in a mismatch with Suns forward Markieff Morris and used a crossover dribble to get separation before dumping the ball underneath to center Emeka Okafor for a layup.