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Saturday afternoon hoops in L.A.
The Wizards take on the Clippers in a Saturday matinee in L.A.
Staples Center | 3:30 p.m. | NBCSW | 1500 AM
Wizards (14-11): G - Frazier, G - Beal, F - Porter Jr., F - Morris, C - Gortat
Clippers (8-15): G - Rivers, G - Williams, F - Johnson, F - Gallinari, C - Jordan
Wizards: Sheldon Mac (Achilles - Out), John Wall (Knee - Out)
Clippers: Blake Griffin (Knee - Out), Patrick Beverley (Knee - Out), Milos Teodosic (Foot - Doubtful)
While Monday may have been a low point of the season in which the Wizards were outscored by 47 points in Utah, the team responded with consecutive road wins, the first time they've won two straight games in about three weeks. They held Phoenix to 99 points on Thursday and improved to 11-1 when holding teams under 100 on the season. They are now 2-1 on the trip and have a chance to start stacking some wins together with the remaining two road games against teams below .500.
Beal the Hot Hand
Bradley Beal has scored 85 points on 34/59 (58%) shooting over the last two games and now ranks fourth in the Eastern Conference in scoring at 23.8 ppg. The 85 points over a two game span are the most for a Wizards player since Gilbert Arenas did it back in December of 2006. With 34 points on Thursday, Beal has now scored 30+ points in five games this season and if he could do it again today, it would be the second time this year he would have recorded 30+ points in three straight games. Keef Morris took some of the load off Beal's shoulders on Thursday as he went for 21 points on 8/12 shooting.
For the last five years, the Clippers have been a 50+ win team and one of the Western Conference powerhouses. But the team the Wizards face today won't look anything like the playoff team they've been over that time. The Clippers dealt Chris Paul this offseason and then lost both Blake Griffin and Patrick Beverley to long term injuries, which has left them with an 8-15 record entering today's game. They have lost four straight heading into this game and they haven't beaten a team above .500 since winning in Portland in late October. The Clip have beaten the Wizards in nine straight games at Staples Center, which dates back to February 2008, but if the Wizards can handle their business today they can put an end to that streak.
While L.A. may be shorthanded, they still have one of the game's top centers in DeAndre Jordan and he's coming off a monster game with 18p-21r against Minnesota on Wednesday. They also have a hot Lou Williams who's averaging over 25 points per game over his last five and leads the NBA in bench scoring.
Up next, the Wizards wrap up their trip on Tuesday night in Brooklyn. (7:30 p.m.)