Washington Wizards v LA Clippers
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 23: Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards handles the ball during the game against the LA Clippers on February 23, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Recap: Wizards fall to Clippers 135-116 in second game of back-to-back

FINAL: Wizards 116 | Clippers 135

BOX SCORE | HIGHLIGHTS

SCORING LEADERS

Wizards: Bradley Beal (28), Moe Wagner (21), Russell Westbrook (20)

Clippers: Kawhi Leonard (32), Paul George (30), Reggie Jackson (17)

SUMMARY

The Wizards were defeated 135-116 by the Clippers on Tuesday night at STAPLES Center, snapping a five-game win streak. Bradley Beal led the way for the Wizards with 28 points and 10 assists while Russell Westbrook totaled 20 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined to score 62 points to lead the way for Los Angeles. After trailing by as many as 24 points in the second quarter, the Wizards pulled within five late in the third quarter, but were unable to complete the comeback in the fourth.

George carried the Clippers out of the gate, scoring 12 consecutive points after Leonard scored on the game’s opening possession. The Clippers led 23-12 before a 7-0 Wizards run cut the deficit to four points, but Washington couldn’t maintain the momentum. Los Angeles closed the first quarter on a 13-1 run over the final three minutes of the final 2:49 of the frame. The Wizards turned it up on offense in the second quarter, shooting 14-25 (.560) from the field and 4-6 (.667) from three, but could not slow down the Clippers’ offense. Los Angeles shot 14-22 (.636) overall and 5-9 (.556) from 3-point range and led by as many as 24 in the second. Isaac Bonga entered the game with 3:25 left in the first half and made an immediate impact, knocking down a three and assisted on a transition layup after recording a steal on the other end. Washington cut the lead to 14, but a George 3-pointer with 6.7 on the clock put the Clippers up 72-55 at halftime.

With the Wizards down 95-77 with 4:33 left in the third quarter, Rui Hachimura knocked a 3-pointer to spark a 17-4 run to end the quarter and pull Washington within five points heading into the fourth quarter. The run included a pair of threes from Davis Bertans, who has now hit at least two threes in each of his last 14 games, trailing only Beal’s 15-game streak from 2017 for the longest streak in franchise history. The Clippers, however, used a 15-4 run mid-way through the fourth quarter to re-take a 20-point advantage and pull away for good.

THREE THINGS TO KNOW

Wizards notch best 3-point percentage since 2019

The Wizards’ loss was not for lack of shooting. As a team, Washington put on one of its best performances of the season from 3-point range, finishing 11-20 (.550) from deep. The Wizards’ 55.0% clip from beyond the arc marked the first time they have shot at least 50.0% from three since February of 2020 and their best percentage since shooting 55.6% in a 159-158 shootout with the Rockets on October 30, 2019. While the team’s 3-point shooting volume has decreased since the start of the season, they’ve found their touch on this road trip, shooting at least 36.0% in four of the last five games. Bertans, Garrison Mathews, Hachimura and Raul Neto each knocked down two threes while Beal, Bonga and Moe Wagner each knocked down one.

Wagner scores season-high 21 points

While Beal and Westbrook each hit their usual statistical benchmarks, it was Wagner who played well above his usual production. Well-regarded by coaches and teammates for his relentless energy, Wagner showed no signs of fatigue less than 24 hours after Monday night’s overtime loss to the Lakers. Wagner scored a season-high 21 points on 8-13 (.615) shooting and tied both his season high in rebounds (7) and his career high in assists (5).

George and Leonard combine for 62

Leonard led the way for Los Angeles with 32 points on 13-20 (.650) from the field while George scored 30 on 11-17 (.647) shooting. George was the driving force behind the Clippers’ dominant first half. After accounting for 12 of the team’s first 14 points, the All-Star wing went on to score 25 points in the first two quarters, shooting 9-13 (.692) from the field and a perfect 5-5 (1.000) from three to go along with five rebounds. George knocked down his sixth 3-pointer of the night right out of halftime, but was held without another basket until three minutes into the fourth quarter as the Wizards raced back into reach.

NEXT UP: Wizards at Nuggets / Thursday, February 25 / 9:00 P.M. / Ball Arena

HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT

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