Bradley Beal was the high scorer in this game with 29 to lead Washington to a 104-96 victory over the Clippers in probably their best statement win of the season thus far. All five starters scored in double figures including Gortat with 18, Pierce and Humphries with 11, and Wall with 10. The Wizards improve to 16-6 and 11-2 at home. This is the best start at home in franchise history.
The Wizards started this one hot hitting 4-6 field goal attempts to start the game. Some nice passing and jump shots from Kris Humpries and Marcin Gortat contributed to the early lead. DeAndre Jordan picked up his second foul six minutes into the quarter. This was very fortunate for Washington as he was dominating the glass. Jordan had three offensive rebounds resulting in second chance points and some thunderous dunks.
The bench came in a looked to push the ball early and often. Early in the second, Andre Miller found Nene in transition cutting to the hoop who threw down a monster dunk. Otto Porter once again provided some nice energy off of the bench. Otto had a nice chase down block and was also very active on the offensive glass including a strong offensive rebound and put back. The Wizards led by 15 at halftime, shooting 51% from the floor and 75% on 6-8 shooting from three point range.
The third quarter was Marcin Gortat’s quarter. He scored 12 of his 18 points in the period. This was in part due to DeAndre Jordan who picked up his 4th foul at the 10:31 mark sending him to the bench. The Clippers rotated Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Heido Turkoglu onto him but neither were much of a match.
John Wall really took it upon himself in the second half to contain Chris Paul. Chris is probably the best in the league at navigating through traffic around screens. He has a knack of keeping his head up and defender at bay so he can analyze the court. John started hounding Chris resulting in a uncharacteristic six turnovers from the star point guard.
The Wizards opened the 4th quarter hot. A transition three from Beal and a easy layup off a steal stretched the lead to 18 early in the quarter. You knew LA was going to give it once last push. Back to back threes from Heido Turkoglu cut the lead to 12. Some sloppy play by the Wizards including four turnovers on four straight possessions let the Clippers back in this one. Chris Paul hit a three with five minutes to play and things started to feel a little uneasy. After a three by Rasual Butler to answer, John Wall drove to the lane and was smacked across the arm. There was a lot of contact but no foul. On the other end, he tackled Chris Paul out of frustration. He got T’d up and that may have been the spark that pushed the Wizards through to victory.
With just over two minutes to go and the Wiz up 11, Doc Rivers pulled all of his starters. It was a pretty puzzling move considering the game was definitely in reach. The Clippers play a back to back tomorrow in Milwaukee so maybe he was trying to save their legs? Regardless it was quite odd in my opinion. The Wizards closed this one out with a final score of 104-96. Now if only Toronto and Atlanta would start to lose a few games.