The Washington Wizards beat the Los Angeles Clippers 100-91 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...
Win is a win: Playing down to lesser opponents has been an unfortunate trend for the Wizards all season and it was enough for head coach Scott Brooks to reference before Friday's game how they had a losing record against teams with losing records. For the second straight game they got a win, but did so the hard way.
This time it was the (11-16) Clippers and the Wizards made things much more difficult than they needed to. After leading by as much as 18 points, the Clippers hung around and cut the lead down to a tie in the fourth quarter.
The lead was lost mostly when head coach Scott Brooks used a lineup of Tim Frazier, Tomas Satoransky, Jodie Meeks, Markieff Morris and Ian Mahinmi. Brooks then brought John Wall (14 points, five assists, six rebounds), Bradley Beal (20 points, 10 assists) and Kelly Oubre, Jr. (eight points, seven rebounds) in and they couldn't stop the bleeding initially.
That group, though, made the final push towards victory. Oubre converted a four-point play with 3:11 remaining and Wall followed that with a three-point play on a fadeaway with 1:51 left.
Beautiful passing, beautiful stroke by Kelly Oubre for a four-point play. pic.twitter.com/iPhN3rheoQ— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) December 16, 2017
The Wizards tied their season series against the Clippers after losing in L.A. last Saturday. Washington is now 16-13 on the season as they get set for a big matchup with Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, who dropped 57 on them in the first meeting back in November.
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World's Best Boss: Mike Scott might officially be unstoppable. The Threegional Manager lit it up again and for the second time this season against the Clippers.
Scott poured in 22 points in 24 minutes on 9-for-10 shooting, tying a season-high (also vs. the Clippers) and his most since the 2013-14 season. In his last six games, he's scored 80 points and shot 34-for-43. Despite being signed to a veteran minimum contract over the summer, Scott has emerged as their most consistent scorer off the bench. He's a big reason why their second unit has improved year-over-year.
Scott got started early with his usual mix of midrange jumpers. He cashed in post opportunities and hit a pair of threes. By halftime, he had 12 points and was 5-for-5 from the field.
Scott also did something he hadn't done yet this season, throw down a big dunk. This looks like the guy from a few years ago who was a force for the Atlanta Hawks:
Sato still the guy: Satoransky was the primary backup point guard again for the Wizards. He played 19 minutes, while Frazier only got three. Satoransky played much better in his second showing with 11 points on 4-for-6 shooting with three rebounds and three assists. He helped lead the Wizards on a nice push in the first half to build a double-digit lead.
Morris, Mahinmi returned: The Wizards were at full-strength for the first time this month on Friday, as both Markieff Morris and Mahinmi returned from their brief injury absence. Morris was nursing a host of minor injuries including a sore right hip. He was a late scratch for Wednesday's win over the Grizzlies and came back after missing one game. Mahinmi missed two games with a right knee strain and was cleared as a gametime decision.
Morris was okay with eight points and four rebounds in 21 minutes as he battled foul trouble. Mahinmi had three points and six rebounds in 17 minutes.
Porter not so lucky: The Wizards were fully healthy for about three minutes of game time as starting small forward Otto Porter left with a right thigh contusion. He first had his right leg stretch and examined by trainers in front of the Wizards' bench, but soon after he exited to the locker room and never returned. A contusion doesn't sound serious, but it was enough to make him miss most of this game.
Up next: The Wizards take Saturday off before hosting the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Tipoff is Sunday at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.
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