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Lou Williams Leads Clippers Past Wizards, 113-112

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A strange finish leaves the Clippers with a much-needed victory.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Los Angeles Clippers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and the Clippers trailing by two points, DeAndre Jordan collected an offensive rebound and found Austin Rivers on the wing for a dramatic three-pointer that could well have proven to be the game-winning basket.

With 8 seconds remaining, Bradley Beal cut backdoor and finished an And-1 against late help defense from Wesley Johnson, putting the Wizards back on top by two points with another potential game-winner.

And with just 1.2 seconds remaining, a Lou Williams three-pointer found the bottom of the net, finally settling the game at its final score of 113-112.

Some clock confusion led to the Wizards getting a two chances at the end, but the Clippers narrowly escaped.

After a horrific 13-0 deficit to start the game, the Clippers were able to turn the first half around and actually lead by 13 going into halftime. Jawun Evans, the little-used rookie point guard, was instrumental in turning the first quarter around, providing a quick 8 points to help the Clippers’ offense get moving. Then, as Danilo Gallinari shook off the rust from his recent injury, he overcame a slow shooting start to finish with 25 points on 8-19 shooting, his best game as a Clipper.

When Austin Rivers and the other starters re-entered the game in the second quarter, they followed the second unit’s example and picked up their play. Austin finished with 16 points and 7 assists, including the crucial late three-pointer that gave the Clippers the lead with 12 seconds to go.

The star of the show for the Clippers, however, was Lou Williams, who continues to be L.A.’s best player. He posted 35 points and 8 assists in 37 minutes off of the bench, adding a team-best +14 (that means they lost by 13 in the 11 minutes that he sat) and had 7 points in the final 1:17 as the Clippers overcame a late 6-point deficit to pull ahead in the waning seconds.

The Clippers improve to 9-15 on the season, still well below the .500 mark but only narrowly out of the playoff hunt in the Western Conference (7th, 8th, and 9th place all have 13 losses, with the Clippers in 10th). With Milos Teodosic returning in the next couple of games, L.A. will hope to have a strong close to 2017 and be close to .500 by the time 2018 rolls around.