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Wizards conclude road trip against Clippers
The Wizards (6-11) close out their four-game road trip Sunday night against the L.A. Clippers (17-2) at 10:30 P.M ET. The Wizards will be playing their second consecutive game at STAPLES Center and look to bounce back from a loss to the Lakers on Friday night. The Clippers lost Friday night against the Spurs, snapping a seven-game winning streak.
STAPLES Center | 10:30 P.M. ET | NBCSW | 1500 AM
Wizards: G – Isaiah Thomas, G – Bradley Beal, F – Troy Brown Jr., F – Rui Hachimura, C – Thomas Bryant
Clippers: G – Patrick Beverley, G – Paul George, F – Kawhi Leonard, F – Maurice Harkless, C – Ivica Zubac
Wizards: Ian Mahinmi (right Achilles strain – out), C.J. Miles (left wrist ligament injury – out), Moritz Wagner (left ankle sprain – questionable), John Wall (left Achilles rehab – out),
Clippers: Rodney McGruder (right hamstring strain – out), Landry Shamet (high left ankle sprain – out)
Beal maintains passing and playmaking through shooting slump
Over the last four games, Bradley Beal has scored 30-plus points just once, down from the red-hot pace he had been on in the weeks prior. Despite the end of his five-game streak of 30-plus point games, Beal’s distribution numbers have yet to cool down. Beal has recorded five-plus assists in 11 of his last 12 games, including nine against the Lakers on Friday. In his eighth season, Beal is averaging 7.1 dimes per game, the highest rate of his career by 1.6 assists per game. Perhaps most impressively, Beal is doing it while also carrying a substantial ball-handling load. He is one of just four players this season to hold a usage rate of 30-or-higher with an assists-to-turnover ratio of at least 2.0.
George’s return sparks an already loaded Clippers roster
Since the start of the season, the Clippers have tortured opponents with long, versatile defenders and a deep bench of capable scorers – all led by two-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. Two weeks ago, they received another boost – All-NBA forward Paul George, who returned from a shoulder injury on November 14th. Since his return, the team ranks fifth in net rating (8.6) and has a 7-2 record, including wins over Dallas, Houston and Boston. Defensively, George and Leonard combine to make one of the league’s most impactful defensive pairings. When George and Leonard play alongside Lou Williams, Patrick Beverly and Montrezl Harrell, the Clippers have a defensive rating of just 80.9. The Clippers’ offense is nearly as effective as its defense. Since George’s return, LA’s offensive rating (112.5) ranks ninth in the league and plays at a pace trailing just the Bucks, Hawks and Wizards.
Wizards looking to snap 11-game road drought against Clippers
The Clippers-Wizards series has been dominated by the home team as of late. Washington has won four of the last five games played at Capital One Arena, including the teams’ most recent meeting, a 125-118 Wizards win thanks to combined 57 points from Bradley Beal and John Wall. The Clippers, on the other hand, have won 11 consecutive home games against the Wizards. This season, L.A. is 11-1 at home and has won six straight games played at STAPLES Center. Their last home loss came in a five-point game against the East-leading Milwaukee Bucks.