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Wizards fall to Clippers in road trip finale, 150-125
The Wizards (6-12) fell 150-125 to the Los Angeles Clippers (15-6) on Sunday night in the finale of a four-game West Coast road trip. Rui Hachimura led the Wizards with a career-high 30 points and nine rebounds, his fourth game this season with 20-plus points.
“They have a very good team,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. “They have a lot of defensive players that are long. Their athletes are long and wiry and they’re strong – and they’re defensive minded. And on top of that they can score.”
Bradley Beal totaled 23 points and 11 assists, his fourth 20-10 game of the season.
Davis Bertans scored 20 points off the bench, hitting 6-9 (.667) from beyond the arc. His six 3-pointers tied a career high – one he has hit three times this season and four times in his career. The game was Bertans’s fifth 20-point game of the season and his fifth game hitting at least five 3-pointers.
Los Angeles’ All-NBA tandem of Kawhi Leonard (34) and Paul George (31) each topped 30 points and were among four Clippers scoring at least 20. George did most of his damage in the first half, scoring 27 points, while Leonard scored 20 of his 34 points in just 11 minutes of play in the second half.
The Clippers took control of the game in the second quarter, outscoring the Wizards 43-22, including separate runs of 15-2 and 20-6 to take an 82-57 lead into halftime. Beal led the Wizards with 17 points and seven assists in the first half, but George’s hot hand – 27 points on 10-16 (.625) shooting – was too much too overcome through two quarters.
The Wizards, however, showed some fight in the third quarter, outscoring the Clippers 41-34, led by 14 points from Hachimura. Washington shot 50.0% from the field and 46.7% from 3-point range en route to their fifth 40-point quarter of the season. Bertans hit a pair of 3-pointers in the third, the second of which capped a 16-4 Washington run and cut the L.A. lead to 13 with 4:15 left in the third quarter. Over the final few minutes of the quarter, the Clippers fought their way to the line and made all 11 of their free throw attempts, retaking momentum and building the lead back up to 20 points.
The Clippers outscored the Wizards 66-46 in the paint, helped in some part by the fact that Moritz Wagner, one of Washington’s most impactful bench defenders, missed the game with an ankle injury.
The Wizards are back in D.C. this week, hosting a pair of games at Capital One Arena. Washington takes on the Magic (8-11) on Tuesday and the Sixers (14-6) on Thursday with both games set to tip at 7:00 P.M.