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Webster drains seven three-balls as Wizards beat Suns

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Associated Press
3/16/2013 9:48:46 PM
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WASHINGTON -- Martell Webster says he would love to be a Washington Wizard next season.

He's giving the Wizards plenty of reasons to keep him lately.

Webster scored a career-high 34 points in a 127-105 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night, putting an exclamation point on a personal hot streak and becoming the Wizards' first 30-point scorer this season.

John Wall added 17 points and 11 assists, and Emeka Okafor had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the fourth straight home win for the Wizards and third straight overall.

But in tying a career high with seven 3-pointers, Webster owned the night and, after the latest in a franchise-record streak of five games with four or more made 3s, made a strong case to be re-signed.

"I would love to be here next year," said Webster, an eight-year veteran who entered Saturday shooting 44.4 per cent from 3-point range and averaging 11.2 points. He will be a free agent at the end of the season.

"We'll see what happens," he added. "I'm having an extraordinary time here. The city is great, the fans are great, and the teammates are awesome."

Michael Beasley scored 21 points and Goran Dragic added 12 points and 11 assists as the Suns (22-45) lost their fourth straight and their sixth of eight in March.

Phoenix now owns the worst record in the Western Conference, a half-game behind idle New Orleans.

"I was embarrassed tonight, and I know our guys feel the same way," said Phoenix coach Lindsey Hunter. "The amount of points we gave up, the amount of 3s we gave up, rebounds, there was no aspect that we brought our focus to."

Webster's last 3 came on the left wing just moments into the fourth quarter to make it 105-84. Webster shrugged toward his bench after the basket in disbelief, then followed with a reverse dunk to push it to 109-86.

During the last five games, he is shooting 55 per cent (26 of 47) beyond the arc. He took just 10 3-point attempts Saturday.

"My teammates kept finding me," Webster said. "They encouraged me to continue to shoot the ball, and when you have that backing, it's easy to shoot."

Wall, meanwhile, has had at least 17 points and nine or more assists in his last four games. He followed a 12-for-15 effort in Friday's win over New Orleans with an efficient 8-of-11 shooting night Saturday.

After Saturday's game, he said he'd already brought up Webster's potential return to team owner Ted Leonsis.

"I already talked to Ted about that one," Wall said. "That's an easy hands-down question about trying to get him back."

Phoenix actually led on Beasley's second-quarter 3-pointer to make it 50-49. But Washington opened a 64-52 lead on a 15-2 run helped by technical fouls given to Phoenix's Jermaine O'Neal and Hunter.

Webster hit both resulting foul shots, the latter to end the run after Wall's transition dunk, and the Wizards led 66-59 after their highest-scoring first half of the season.

Washington put it away in the third, going on a 17-6 run capped by Trevor Booker's putback. And Webster's individual brilliance pushed the lead even larger in the fourth.

Notes: Washington rookie G Bradley Beal (sprained left ankle) returned to action after missing six straight games, entering late in the first quarter . Suns C O'Neal made just his second start of the season. He came off the bench for the last two games, after missing the previous four for personal reasons . Phoenix received four first-half technical fouls (illegal defence, Beasley, O'Neal, Hunter).

Martell Webster (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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