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.
Here's a look at the controversial last play between the Wizards and Clippers today. The clock clearly started early. pic.twitter.com/jVpRSuD2Qy— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) December 10, 2017
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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