Saturday, January 19, 2013

Clippers Sink Wizards

Following a hard-earned victory the previous night, the Wizards were in Los Angeles to take on the 31-9 Clippers. After years of futility, the Clippers organization has been rejuvenated with the arrival of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, and are in the midst of their best season ever as a franchise, owning the second best record in the league.

The Wizards were sky high off their win in Denver, but were looking for just their third road win of the season coming into tonight's showdown at Staples Center.

The game was tight early on, with the Clippers leading 24-22 at the end of the 1st quarter. The Wizards hung around in the 2nd, but Los Angeles extended their lead to 7, taking a 47-40 advantage going into the half.

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan fights for a rebound with Wizards center Emeka Okafor (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
In the 3rd quarter, the Clippers maintained a steady advantage, going into the 4th leading 73-64. Late in the game, the Wizards found themselves down by only 1 point at 87-86, but Blake Griffin converted a layup with 1:03 left to play, extending the Clippers lead to 3. On the other end, John Wall was called for a palming violation, turning the ball back over to the Clippers with less than a minute remaining. Chris Paul then sank a jumper with 32.4 seconds left in the game to put the Clippers up by 5, as Los Angeles held on for 94-87 victory over the 8-30 Wizards, who now travel to Portland to take on the Blazers on Monday night.

Chris Paul led the Clippers to victory with 22 points and 11 assists. Blake Griffin also contributed a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. The Wizards were led by John Wall with 24 points and 6 assists in a losing effort.