Notebook: Wizards 98, Clippers 90



Posted Feb 5, 2013 12:24 AM

By Benjamin Standig, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Martell Webster scored 21 points and drained five 3-pointers as the Washington Wizards snapped a four-game losing with a 98-90 win over the Chris Paul- and Blake Griffin-less Los Angeles Clippers Monday night.

While Paul missed his eighth straight game with a bruised right kneecap, Griffin's absence due to a strained left hamstring was surprising and truly a last minute call. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro did not learn of his All-Star forward's unavailability until moments before Los Angeles headed to the court for the opening tip.

Nene and Garrett Temple each scored 15 points, and John Wall had 13 points and eight assists for the Wizards (12-35), who let all of a 10-point third quarter lead slip away. Aided by Clippers' turnovers, Washington took command with an 11-2 run late in the fourth quarter for a 91-81 lead.

Jamal Crawford scored 28 points, Eric Bledsoe had 17 and Caron Butler 15 for the Clippers (34-16), who have lost three straight and seven of nine. Center DeAndre Jordan grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds.

QUOTABLE: "It's frustrating because we're giving back a lot of what we had built up in the season. But you can't control the injuries, you can't control the schedule, you can't control so many guys being out. We can't use that as an excuse."

-- Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro on his team's current slide and notable injuries

THE STAT: The Clippers committed eight of their 20 turnovers in the fourth quarter, which the Wizards turned into 14 points. After a Bledsoe mistake, Wall stuck a jumper and then moments later added a slam dunk, putting Washington ahead 91-81 with 2:27 left.

QUOTABLE II: " This is the first time we beat them since I was here. We just made plays down the stretch, got a comfortable lead, got a couple of stops and closed it out."

-- John Wall after Washington's first win over Los Angeles since 2009, a stretch of eight games

HOT: Webster drained five of six shots from beyond the 3-point arc and the Wizards finished 7-for-12 from long range. Washington's top 3-point percentage shooter, Webster has made 8-for-11 over the last two games and has scored in double figures in seven of the last nine games.

NOT: The Clippers' 3-point shooters went 4-for-17 (23.5 percent) from that distance. Facing his old team, Butler missed five of six attempts.

QUOTABLE III: "Listen, we played enough games this year without players. Don't give me any [talk] about who was here and who wasn't here. This is a game and we won."

-- Wizards coach Randy Wittman on the topic of Los Angeles being without Griffin and Paul

GOOD MOVE: During Bradley Beal's four-game absence with a sprained right wrist, Wittman has started Temple, who was recalled from the D-League on Christmas Day. Noted for his defense, the 6-foot-6 guard started the game with 10 points in the first quarter and he made 7-for-12 shots overall. While Temple played 37 minutes, fellow guard and Washington's second-leading scorer Jordan Crawford played only five and none in the second half.

NOTABLE: The Wizards now have wins over four division leaders: the Clippers, Thunder, Bulls and Heat. Another opportunity for a contender's scalp comes Wednesday against the Knicks. ...The only Washington starter not to score in double figures, Emeka Okafor finished with nine points and 14 rebounds. . ...Lamar Odom started in place of Griffin and had three points and nine rebounds before fouling out. ... Jordan grabbed half of the Clippers' 44 rebounds. The Wizards also had 44 rebounds, but a 13-9 edge on the offensive glass which they turned into 21 second-chance points.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Wednesday @ Magic, Friday @ Heat, Sunday @ Knicks. For the Wizards, Wednesday vs. Knicks, Friday vs. Nets, Monday @ Bucks..