Five Takeaways: The Clippers fall in Washington
WASHINGTON — The shorthanded Clippers (11-16) rallied back from an early deficit to tie the game late, but the Wizards (16 -13) pulled away over the final five-minute stretch, snapping LA’s three-game winning streak.
Here are five quick takeaways from the Clippers 100-91 loss:
Quote of the Night:
“This is a great group to coach. Let us stay in the game down the stretch and we’ll try to take the game from you. It just didn’t happen tonight.” - Doc Rivers
1) Next Man Up —
With the Clippers missing 75-points-per-game from injuries, the team’s rookies stepped up.Jawun Evans set career highs in minutes (40), points (15), assists (6), rebounds (6) and steals (5) while guarding John Wall and Bradley Beal throughout the game. Evans also led the Clippers offense, pushing the tempo and getting the team into its sets quickly. His confidence was visibly growing throughout the game. In the fourth quarter with the team down seven, Evans summoned his best stretch of play in his career, starting off with a nifty no-look bounce pass to Sam Dekker for a layup. A few plays later, Evans stripped Wall and scored on an easy layup. To capitalize the run, Evans executed a crossover to pull-up jumper to tie the game at 79.
“He was great, it was great to see him smile and enjoy playing basketball because he’s playing so hard,” Rivers said about Evans. “He played a hard 40 minutes.”
Also having a career night was Jamil Wilson, starting his fourth game this season, and publishing career highs in minutes (23), and points (10). C.J. Williams passed his career high for scoring in the first half, and ended the game with 10. Injuries cast a large shadow over the team’s season, but one bright side is the ability to develop and cultivate younger talent.
2) Jordan plays 700th career game —
The only Clipper to achieve First Team All-NBA reached another milestone against the Wizards, playing in his 700th career game with the franchise, becoming the second Clipper to do so, and 15 games behind Randy Smith for the record.
Jordan continued his elite play that’s stretched over the past couple of games with a 12-point, 16-rebound outing, securing his 10th game over the past 11 with 15-plus rebounds.
3) Gaming the math —
The previous five games, the Clippers made more threes than their opponents, but tonight the streak came to an end with a tie, with both teams making only seven. Limiting opponents three-point shots is a focus of emphasis for the Clippers defense, and they forced the Wizards into a 7-of-31 performance from behind the arc, but couldn’t capitalize on the other end, going 7-of-24 themselves. Lou Williams led the team with three threes, scoring 23 points in total.
4) Turnovers put Clippers in early hole —
The Clippers fell behind as much as 18 points in the first half, largely due to the 13 turnovers committed, resulting in 14 points for the Wizards. When the Clippers settled down and controlled the possession, they were able to close the lead to five after two frames.
In the second half the Clippers flipped the narrative, only turning it over eight times and forcing the Wizards into 12 turnovers, but the Wizards transition defense restricted numerous fast break changes.
5) Wizards late push seals victory —
With 5:30 remaining in the game, and the Clippers down three, Lou Williams hoisted a 26-foot three pointer to tie the score at 82. The Clippers were in the middle of a 14-5 run, and the Wizards were visibly frustrated. Following a timeout, the Wizards responded with a 7-0 run to essentially put the Clippers away for good. Markieff Morris hit a fadeaway jumper, John Wall made a three, and Bradley Beal hit a jumper to gut punch the Clippers.
Beal put up a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds, Wall scored 15, and Mike Scott led the team with 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting.
What Next? Clippers play the second game of a back-to-back tomorrow night in Miami at 5:00 PM PST.