Five Takeaways: Clippers’ Four-Game Win Streak Snapped In Loss To Wizards
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A third quarter double-digit lead Sunday wasn’t enough for the Clippers (20-8) to sweep the three-game road trip, as the Wizards (12-14) snapped their four-game winning streak.
Here are five quick takeaways from the Clippers’ 117-110 loss.
1) Defensive lapses costly– Austin Rivers drilled a 3-pointer midway through the fourth, giving him nine points for the quarter and putting the Clippers ahead by seven points. But the lead didn’t last long. Head coach Doc Rivers said before the game, despite a four-game winning streak, he didn’t think the Clippers were locked in on the defensive end the way they should be.
The defensive inconsistencies came back to cost them at the end of their three-game trip, with the Wizards scoring eight points in the final minute of the first quarter, 33 points in the third quarter and 22 points in the final 6:05 of a finish the Clippers would like to have back. Rivers said it the transition defense was bad Sunday, the Clippers would go home unhappy, and that’s what happened, with the Wizards scoring 65 points in the second half and shooting 80 percent in the fourth quarter.
2) Griffin, Paul reach notable milestones – Blake Griffin moved into third place on the Clippers’ all-time scoring list, passing Elton Brand and trailing only Bob McAdoo and Randy Smith on the leaderboard. Griffin past Brand with his 9,337th career point, and he finished the night with 26 points, giving him four straight games with at least 20 points. Chris Paul scored his 13th point of the night in the fourth quarter, giving him 15,000 for his career.
3) Can’t deal with Beal – Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick scored 12 points in the third quarter. The problem was the Wizards’ shooting guard, Bradley Beal, had 18 in the quarter. Beal compiled 35 points after three quarters, sparking the Wizards’ 33-point third quarter surge, and finished with 41 points on the night, marking the first time an opponent scored more than 38 against the Clippers this year.
4) Untimely turnovers – This went for both teams. By the end of the first quarter, the Clippers and Wizards each had at least five of them. By the end of the first half, both teams had exactly 10. They crept up to bite both teams in the fourth quarter, but particularly the Clippers, who had four in the final quarter which led to six points the other way. Both teams committed 15 turnovers on the day.
5) Mbah a Moute back – Luc Mbah a Moute missed the last two games with a right AC sprain, but he was back in the starting lineup Sunday. Before the game, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks complimented Mbah a Moute’s often underappreciated work defensively this year. “He is probably one of the best defensive players in the league,” Brooks said. Mbah a Moute finished with six points and a steal, playing 17 minutes in his return.
What’s Next? – The Clippers return home to play the Nuggets on Tuesday.
NOTES: Doc Rivers was handed two technicals and ejected with 1:06 remaining in the game … The Clippers had won 13 of their last 15 games against Washington before this loss...DeAndre Jordan had seven points and 10 rebounds in the first half, finishing with 13 and 17, respectively … Marreese Speights had 10 points in first half and finished with 14, while Austin Rivers added 13 off the bench …