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Wizards fall to Clippers, 105-100, despite double-doubles from Hachimura, Bonga
FINAL: Wizards 100 | Clippers 105
Wizards: Isaac Bonga (15), Rui Hachimura (15), Thomas Bryant (13), Jerome Robinson (13)
Clippers: Patrick Patterson (16), Marcus Morris Sr. (13), Terance Mann (13), Amir Coffey (13), Rodney McGruder (13)
The Wizards were defeated by the Clippers, 105-100, on Saturday night at HP Field House in each team’s second exhibition game from Orlando. Five Wizards scored in double figures, led by 15-point double-doubles from both Isaac Bonga and Rui Hachimura. After Los Angeles closed the first quarter on a 6-0 run, the Wizards outscored the Clippers 37-28 in the second to take a three-point halftime lead. The key to the second-quarter run: turnovers. Washington committed just one turnover while forcing six from the Clippers, including a Hachimura steal of Kawhi Leonard that led to a lead-taking dunk on the other end.
Washington’s defensive success carried into the third quarter, holding Los Angeles to just 18 points on 32.0% from the field and 18.2% from three. The Wizards, though, managed just 23 points of their own. In an effort to keep players’ minutes in check as the team continues its ramp-up process, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks leaned on the bench in the fourth quarter. Johnathan Williams and Jerian Grant each played the entire fourth quarter while Admiral Schofield played 10:39 of the final frame. A Schofield 3-pointer and Hachimura step-back jumper put Washington up five with 4:46 to go before a 12-0 Clippers run over the next 2:46 put L.A. up for good.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Bonga’s double-double backs up weeks of acclaim
After drawing praise from coaches and teammates in the weeks leading up to the restart, Isaac Bonga has put on two standout performances in Washington’s exhibition games. On Wednesday against Denver, it hardly showed in the box score outside of a plus-18 rating. But on Saturday, Bonga stuffed the stat sheet, going for 15 points and 12 rebounds, shooting 4-7 (.571) from the field and 7-9 (.777) from the free throw line. Bonga was aggressive in getting to the basket, around the boards and, though recording just one assist, spent a number of possessions driving the Wizards’ offense.
Robinson steps up in starting role
“I would love to see Jerome (Robinson) step up and play a solid game,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said pregame. “Play with confidence. I think he can be a really good player and I would like to have him have a good game – especially against his former team.”
Robinson did just that. With Troy Brown Jr. (sprained right thumb) out of the lineup on Saturday, Robinson slid into the starting two-guard role. The second-year pro wasted no time getting aggressive, scoring five of his 13 points in the first 2:22 of the game and assisting on a Thomas Bryant dunk that put Washington up five just over four minutes into the game. Robinson also added a pair of rebounds and assists. With the Wizards down their top two scorers, Robinson is a prime candidate to see more opportunity as the Orlando restart continues.
Shooting struggles continue
Despite the notable individual performances, Washington’s shooting as a team was lacking for the second game in a row. Against the Clippers, the Wizards shot just 35.6% from the field, 25.8% from 3-point range and 55.6% from the free throw line. Volume was not the Wizards’ problem in any of the three categories. Washington got up 101 field goals, 31 threes and attempted 10 more free throws than the Clippers. As competition ramps up in the seeding games, Washington will have to find a way to create more easy baskets and hit the open ones when they come.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
Slamuraipic.twitter.com/c4R6KWtQtv— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) July 26, 2020