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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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5 must-see moments from Wizards' tough loss to Bucks including John Wall's circus shot

5 must-see moments from Wizards' tough loss to Bucks including John Wall's circus shot

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 104-95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday afternoon...

1. John Wall came out swinging in the first half with 22 points, 16 of them in the first quarter alone. 

This was one of his best plays. Wall split two defenders and then flipped it in off the glass:

Wall finished with 27 points, nine assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks. 

2. Kelly Oubre, Jr. led the Wizards' bench with 19 points, five rebounds and a block. He missed on this play, but nearly dunked on Giannis Antetokounmpo. That would have been something:

[PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE]

3. Oubre did get this one to go down. He popped a three at the buzzer to end the third quarter:

4. Wall had some nice passes including this alley-oop lob to Tomas Satoransky. Sato got way up there:

Satoransky also threw down this alley-oop pass earlier thrown by Bradley Beal:

5. This last play was by the Bucks and it was not something you see every day. Antetokounmpo fired an assist through his legs like a longsnapper:

The Wizards lost a close one. Now they head to Charlotte to begin a five-game road trip.

[PODCAST: BRADLEY BEAL ON HIS GROWTH AS A LEADER]

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On MLK Day, John Wall wonders what King would think about race relations under President Trump

On MLK Day, John Wall wonders what King would think about race relations under President Trump

John Wall spoke at length over the summer about race relations in the United States following the violence in Charlottesville in August orchestrated by white supremacists.

Following the Wizards' game against the Bucks on Martin Luther King, Jr. day on Monday, Wall was asked about the subject again.

Wall does not believe improvements have made in the last few months with President Donald Trump in office and he wonders how King would react if he were alive to see the current state of America.

"I think he still wouldn't be satisfied. We're still dealing with it. I think it got better for a little period of time, but with the new president we have I think things are going backwards. We've been dealing with it the last couple of years. There are some things we still need to figure out," Wall said.

PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE

The Wizards play on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day every year and Wizards players cherish the tradition. It is not lost on Wall that he plays in Washington, D.C. where King made his famous 'I Have A Dream' speech and led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

“That’s just an honor and a blessing," Wall said.

"We are all still sticking to what he had with this dream, and we are just trying to get everything to be right with it. To be able to play in this city is an honor."

RELATED: WHO IS WINNING THE NBA MVP RACE?

Wall says he tries to embody King's dream in his own life. King helped lead the civil rights movement that paved the way for equal rights and Wall, an African-American, has much to thank for those who fought. Every American does.

Wall says he wants to make King proud.

“I just hope that he appreciates what I’m doing. I’m doing myself very well. I hope he’s thankful for what I’m doing. I’m striving to be a better African-American athlete, and just as a person first of all – I think that’s the most important thing," he said.

MORE WIZARDS: BRADLEY BEAL ON HIS GROWTH AS A LEADER