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Clippers Squander 24 Point Lead Against Warring Wizards

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The Clippers have made a habit out of late-game comebacks. But, in this game, they were on the receiving end, finishing their three-games-in-four-nights stretch with a loss.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Washington Wizards Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Game Summary:

The Clippers came out hot in the opening quarter, eventually ending the first with a 40-21 lead. They were led by Tobias Harris, who had 18 points on his own, with four three pointers. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also had 7 points in the quarter. The Wizards kept it relatively close through the first 7 minutes (21 to 14 pts), but the Clippers pulled away as the Wizards kept missing shot over shot. While the Clippers certainly shot well, they were greatly benefiting from the Wizards’ terrible team defense.

The second quarter was much more evenly played, with the Clippers only out-pacing the Wizards by 1 points, giving them a 19 points lead at halftime. Williams played well in the quarter, scoring 11 points, while Mike Scott added two threes in his return to D.C. For the Wizards, Tomas Satoransky, John Wall, Otto Potter, Jr., and Jeff Green (who ended the game with 20 points on 8 of 11 shooting) started to look alive, each at or approaching double digits by the end of the half.

After halftime, the Wizards started to get to work, cutting the lead to 10 with about 3 minutes left in the quarter and finishing the quarter down 9. They got the help of eight Clipper turnovers and 16 free throw attempts. The Clippers, on their end, only shot 42% in the quarter. Also of note, Ty Wallace and Bradley Beal hit heads towards the end of the quarter, resulting in Ty Wallace having to go to the locker room. Beal came back, finishing the game with 27 points, but Wallace did not.

In the first 2 minutes of the fourth quarter, the Wizards had the game down to a 5 point difference. They battled around that margin for the middle of the quarter until they got it down to 2 points with about six and a half minutes to go. And, despite Montrezl Harrell’s best efforts, the Wizards took a one point lead with 4:26 left to play. Then ... the Clippers’ collapse came full circle, as the Wizards would eventually outscore the Clippers 23 to 39 and beat the Clippers by seven.

Game Notes:

  • Wizards had 39 Free Throw Attempts, shooting 82.1%. This was a huge factor that kept the Wizards from completely sinking after the first half and eventually allowed them to take the lead. The Clippers only had 18 attempts, making 15.
  • Clippers had 17 turnovers, twelve of which came in the second half.
  • Danilo Gallinari was 0 of 8 from the field. He wasn’t scoreless — he hit three free throws — but he certainly wasn’t any help on the offense end during his 28 minutes.
  • Avery Bradley was a negative-8 plus/minus in 32 minutes. (Nothing else to add — that speaks for itself.)

So how do you lose a 24 point lead against a team who is at each other’s throats? Well, read those Game Notes again and you’ll have your answer.