The Clippers ended up using an unconventional lineup to start the game, even for this ever-shorthanded Clippers team. Milos Teodosic, who had just come back to the lineup from injury, ended up being a late scratch, sitting out for “rest.”
Doc Rivers said Milos Teodosic will not play tonight vs Wizards because they don’t want him playing in back to back games yet. Milos will play vs Miami Saturday night— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) December 15, 2017
In his place, Sindarius Thornwell got the start, along with Jamil Wilson, Wes Johnson, Lou Williams, and DeAndre Jordan.
The game started slowly for both teams: The Wizards had committed 5 team fouls by the 8:00 mark of the game, putting the Clippers in the bonus. And the Clippers likewise provided the Wizards the bonus by the end of the first quarter.
The only excitement in the first quarter was prompted by Lou Williams, who served up a nice lob to DeAndre Jordan. Watch:
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) December 16, 2017
The Clippers ended the quarter down seven (25-18), barely escaping a double-digit deficit with the help of a C.J. Williams three pointer as time expired. Williams led the team in scoring with five, in the first quarter. Mike Scott and Bradley Beal led the Wizards in scoring with five a piece.
The second quarter began just as the first ended — with a C.J. Williams three pointer. The next four minutes, however, were scoreless for the Clippers. Dekker missed two shots, Wes Johnson missed a three, and Willie Reed missed two free throws (among other things but you get the point).
Meanwhile, the Wizards’ second unit kept pushing, expanding the lead to 16 at the 7:13 mark, prompting a Doc Rivers timeout. At this point, the Clippers were shooting about 30% and the Wizards were just under 50%.
Mike Scott still collecting buckets just because they are there.— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) December 16, 2017
Scott's up to 10 points (4 for 4) and #Wizards lead 37-21 at the 7:13 mark
After the time out, Doc brought the starters back in, who brought some quick relief: Lou Williams hit a shot, while Jamil Wilson knocked down a three pointer.
Jawun Evan stood out this quarter, as he would from here on. He had two nice steals and hit a few shots, including a three point shot.
But, by end of the second quarter, the Clippers’ FG% was up to 40% — eclipsing the Wizards’ percentage. As of half time, the Clippers were also out pacing the Wizards in free throws (10/18 to 9/14) and from behind the arc (5/11 to 3/15).
Nonetheless, the Clippers still found themselves down by five points (43-48). This, in part, had to do with the Clippers turning the ball over 13 times to the Wizards’ seven.
I would say that the third quarter started slow, but that would not be quite right: Both teams were indeed moving quickly and the pace was aggressive, yet it didn’t seem like anyone hit a shot for the first 6 minutes (sarcasm, of course).
The Wizards increased their lead to 12 by the 6:00 mark, but the Clippers, for the most part, held their lead to single-digits through the first half of the 3rd quarter.
The quarter ended with the Wizards leading by 11 (75-64). As of the end of the third quarter, Mike Scott (22 pts.) and Bradley Beal (15 pts., 10 rbs.) continued to lead Washington.
Brice Johnson started the fourth quarter, along with Harrell, Evans, Dekker, and C.J. Williams. Harrell, the biggest scoring threat of that lineup, hit the Clippers’ first two baskets. Meanwhile, the Wizards second unit hit too few shots to maintain the 11 point lead.
After Evans scored and assisted on two straight possessions, Scott Brooks asked for a timeout, his team only up 5 with 8:40 left in the game. But the timeout didn’t seem to fix much, as Jawun Evans immediately forced a turnover, got a basket, and then the Clippers got another steal, leading to Harrell free throws, cutting the lead to two.
A few minutes later, Evans would tie the game at 79 with 6:52 left in the game.
But, after another time out, the Clippers’ momentum began to fade. Or, one could say, John Wall and the Wizards finally woke up. By 1:50 to play, it was Doc Rivers who was calling timeout to stop a run, as the Clippers were down 12 and running out of time to rebound once again.
The Clippers could not respond, and lost the game by nine (91-100). Jawun Evans finished with a career high 15 points and ended up planing an exciting 40 minutes.
On a non-basketball related note, the Clippers took advantage of their time in the Nation’s capitol by visiting the new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). The players enjoyed their visit, according to the Fox Sports broadcast. And, if they made it to the sports portion of the museum, they got to see a video of the Clippers from 2014 during the Donal Sterling debacle.
Here is a video (of the video) I took while I was in D.C. myself: