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Wizards, refs explain what happened on botched final play in loss to Clippers

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Wizards, refs explain what happened on botched final play in loss to Clippers

In the final moments of Saturday's Wizards loss to the Clippers at Staples Center, things got a little weird.

There were 1.2 seconds on the clock and the Wizards got the ball into Bradley Beal's hands, exactly what they wanted. But the clock started early, about .2 seconds early, and Beal wasn't able to get his shot off in time. Though the shot went in, the buzzer had already gone off. 

Once the refs realized what happened, they reveiwed the play and gave the Wizards another chance. But this time it was with 1.1 seconds and the Wizards were inbounding the ball closer to the baseline.

After getting Beal open enough to catch the ball and get a shot off, the do-over was a disaster. Center Marcin Gortat got the ball and had no choice but to attempt a fading shot from about 21 feet out. With Beal, Otto Porter and other shooters on the floor, that wasn't even close to the plan.

Following the game, the Wizards' 10th straight loss to the Clippers at Staples Center, Beal and referee Bill Spooner gave their explanation for what happened on the first attempt. First, Beal shared his side.

"Excuse my language because I’m going to say verbatim what they said," Beal said. "They said it’s kind of a 'some s*** rule,' it’s a freak rule. To me, it didn’t really make sense because you take a basket away. You go back and he says we get the same amount of time, but we didn’t get the same amount of time and then we get the ball in the corner. It’s kind of the tough s*** rule. I don’t understand it. I don’t get it. We ran a great play and now that you take that away, we’ve gotta set up with a different play and they get a chance to set up and change some things. Now we’ve gotta do a different play with the ball in the corner."


Basically, the clock operator screwed up and the Wizards were hurt by it. Here's what Spooner told pool reporter Todd Dybas of the Washington Times:

"We had a clock malfunction, early start," Spooner said, confirming what everyone saw on the NBC Sports Washington broadcast. "The crew actually incorrectly reset the shot-clock to 1.1, we should have reset it to 0.1. The reason is, on an early start, we timed the possession, the lost time. The only time that was lost was 0.1. So we should have inbounded the ball at the point of interruption, which is what we did, but it should have been at 0.1 instead of 1.1."

On why the location of the inbounds changed:

"We had a clock malfunction, early start."

So, by that explanation, the Wizards were done a favor with 1.1 on the clock instead of 0.1. That doesn't make much sense, but those are the NBA rules.

Here is the play, if Wizards fans have the stomach to revisit it:

The Clippers basically benefitted from a fluke incident, a mistake by the clock operator, and there nothing the refs could really do about it. The Wizards may feel like what happened was unfair, but they know they could have won the game in other ways.

"I never complain about tough decisions and tough plays at the end of the game that the refs have to make," head coach Scott Brooks said. "They had nothing to do with guys not being ready to play."


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Wizards fold late, fall to Clippers on road for 10th straight time

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Wizards fold late, fall to Clippers on road for 10th straight time

The Washington Wizards lost to the Los Angeles Clippers 113-112 on Saturday afternoon. Here's analysis of what went down...

Tough loss: The Clippers traded Chris Paul in the offseason and have Blake Griffin and Patrick Beverley out due to injury, but the story remains the same for the Wizards on the road in L.A.

With another defeat at the Staples Center, the Wizards have lost 10 in a row on the road against the Clippers. They haven't won there since 2008.

Even without John Wall, there was no excuse for losing this one. They are now 4-4 since Wall went down with his latest injury and 5-5 without him overall this season.

Williams was a problem: The new-look Clippers were missing some key players, but backup guard Lou Williams helped make up for it. He was unstoppable with 13 points by halftime and then another 13 in the third quarter. He ended up with 35 points and eight assists and iced the win with a huge three with 1.2 seconds left. It was from about 27 feet and with Bradley Beal guarding him.

The Wizards tried many things to stop him, but had no such luck. The Wizards put Kelly Oubre, Jr. on him and Oubre often has success guarding smaller players, but Williams kept dominating.

A lot of the focus in trade rumors involving the Clippers has dealt with DeAndre Jordan, but Williams is having himself a strong year and could help a contender. Once L.A. starts tearing it down, they will have some attractive assets to sell.

Great Scott: The Wizards were nearly saved by an unlikely hero. Mike Scott, a guy they signed over the offseason to a one-year deal as a potential reclamation project, came through with his best game in years. He was automatic with his usual mix of threes (3-for-4 3PT) and midrange jumpers. Scott had 22 points, his most since April 4, 2014, and added eight rebounds, albeit in a losing effort.

Scott has been a terrific signing so far as their most consistent scoring option off the bench.

Otto caught fire: Otto Porter was due. He had six total points in the Wizards previous two games and, though they were wins for the team, Porter had fallen into his worst slump of the season.

That changed against the Clippers as Porter came out swinging. He hit his first three threes and had 11 points in the first seven minutes. By halftime Porter had 17 points, tying his most in a game since Nov. 28.

Porter quickly surpassed that number and finished with 27 points, his most since Oct. 27 against the Warriors, and added 11 rebounds. He had the greenlight from three, which should always be the case, and was more aggressive than usual in the lane. There was a play in the second quarter where he crashed the glass, ripped a rebound out of the air and put it back for two. Porter isn't always assertive on offense, but he was against the Clippers. 

Beal went cold early: The version of Beal that dropped 51 points against the Blazers and 34 vs. the Suns went missing in L.A. early in this one. He had only two points in the first half on 1-for-7 shooting and looked like he didn't have the same energy or confidence.

Beal, though, would heat up and quickly. He found his rhythm from long range in the third quarter to drop 16 points in the frame including four threes.

It is unclear why Beal got off to such a slow start, but this game is further proof of Beal's potential. The best NBA scorers can only be held in check for so long and the very best will get theirs every night one way or another. 

Beal finished with 25 points and hit five threes. Though the Wizards have already played at the Lakers and Clippers, this may not be the last time Beal plays in L.A. this season. The All-Star Game is in February.

Beal had a big three-point play eight seconds left before Williams' three. Beal then got a look at the buzzer on a would-be final play. Beal made the shot, but after time ran out. Refs reviewed it and realized the clock had started early. That gave the Wizards another chance, but Marcin Gortat missed a 20-foot jumper to end the loss.

Up next: The Wizards are off Sunday and Monday before playing at the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night, the last leg of their five-game road trip. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.


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Wizards at Clippers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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Wizards at Clippers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre and the Washington Wizards battle DeAndre Jordan, Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams and the L.A. Clippers on Sunday afternoon.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…


Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 3:30 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 2:30 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Wall is getting close

Saturday marks exactly two weeks since John Wall had platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment and viscosupplementation injections in his left knee and at the time was prescribed a recovery timeline of approximately two weeks. By that timeline, he should be very close to returning and in recent days he has been able to ramp up his rehab to the point where he participated in a full practice with the Wizards on Friday.

Wall is not expected to play against the Clippers, but this could be the Wizards' last game without him. They have been managing relatively well without him in the lineup. The Wizards are 4-3 since his knee procedures and 5-4 overall without him this season.


Beal is on a roll

Bradley Beal continued to light it up against the Suns on Thursday and could have had more than the 34 points he amassed. After dropping 51 on the Blazers on Tuesday, Beal had 30 points entering the fourth quarter in Phoenix. He has hit the 30-point mark for the second straight game for the fifth time in his career. One more and he matches his career-best streak of three games set on Nov. 5.

Not to get too far ahead of things, but just in case anyone is wondering, the franchise record for most consecutive 30-point games is seven held by Earl 'The Pearl' Monroe who accomplished the feat back in 1968. 


Clippers are banged up

It has been a tough season so far for the Clippers who are missing two of their best players in Patrick Beverley, who is done for the season, and Blake Griffin, who is out several months. They have also been playing without Milos Teodosic, a talented rookie point guard.

Add it all up and the Clippers have been one of the NBA's worst teams in the past month. After starting the season 5-2, they are 3-13 in their last 16 games. That stretch includes a four-game losing streak and a 13-game losing streak. All three of their wins were in a row. The Wizards have no business losing this game, even without Wall in their lineup.