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Wizards get rematch with Clippers
After playing last weekend in L.A., the Wizards and Clippers meet again, this time in D.C.
Capital One Arena | 7:00 p.m. | NBCSW | 1500 AM
Wizards (15-13): G - Wall, G - Beal, F - Porter Jr., F - Morris, C - Gortat
Clippers (11-15): G - Evans, G - Williams, F - Wilson, F - Johnson, C - Jordan
Wizards: Sheldon Mac (Achilles - Out), Keef Morris (Hip - Probable), Ian Mahinmi (Knee - Questionable)
Clippers: Blake Griffin (Knee - Out), Patrick Beverley (Knee - Out), Danilo Gallinari (Glute - Out), Austin Rivers (Concussion - Out)
Wall Back Leading the Way
After missing nine games with a knee injury, John Wall returned to the lineup on Wednesday and scored 13 points in 28 minutes in a win over the Grizzlies. While his minutes may have been limited, he certainly did not look to be bothered by the knee, as he made a few of his signature above-the-rim highlights, including a left-handed dunk and a big block near the end of the game. He may have shown some signs of rust, as he was 0/4 from the free-throw line and was just 6/15 from the floor, but he said after the game that he physically felt great and that was most important.
Wall's minutes will likely increase slightly each game until he's back playing his usual 34-36 minutes. Tomas Satoransky was the first in off the bench to play behind Wall on Wednesday, which was a change from before Wall's injury when Tim Frazier was the primary backup. Frazier did enter and play five minutes on Wednesday, but Sato played 15 and once Wall is back to playing his usual minutes, the Wizards will likely only use one of the two reserve guards behind Wall. The Wiz also briefly used lineups with Bradley Beal at the point, something they did when Wall was sidelined with his injury.
Ian Mahinmi (knee) missed his second straight game on Wednesday and will be questionable tonight. Keef Morris (hip) was a late addition to the injury report on Wednesday and was held out, but he's listed as probable tonight.
These two teams met just six days ago in L.A. and that loss will be fresh in the minds of the Wizards as they get ready to host the Clippers in D.C. for their annual visit. The Wiz jumped out to a 13-0 lead last Saturday, but the Clippers controlled much of the rest of the first half and led by 13 at halftime. The Wizards battled back and nearly had the game in hand in the final minute, but the Clippers hit two huge 3-pointers, including Lou Williams go-ahead triple with 1.2 seconds left. The Wizards then had two opportunities to take a game-winning shot after a clock error, but failed to execute in the allotted time and lost 113-112. It was a frustrating loss and one the team will certainly want to avenge tonight when they get this Clippers team at home.
Some Changes for Clippers
The Clippers were missing two of their best players last Saturday in Blake Griffin and Patrick Beverley, but tonight they'll also be without Danilo Gallinari and Austin Rivers, who were two of their starters from last Saturday's game. The Clip will again be without point guard Milos Teodosic tonight, who just returned to their lineup after missing time with a foot injury, but head coach Doc Rivers indicated that he didn't want to play Teodosic on back-to-back nights and that he would hold him out tonight and use him instead tomorrow. This will be a very thin Clippers team, but one that has won three straight since beating the Wizards last weekend. Lou Williams, who went for 35 points against the Wiz last weekend, scored 31 in their win over the Magic on Wednesday and will be the Clippers most dangerous offensive player again tonight.
Up next, the Wizards host the Cavs on Sunday night at Capital One Arena (6.00 p.m.).