Despite losing two games in a row, the Clippers approached the matchup against the Wizards as if it was an opportunity. After all, the Wizards were on the losing end of a historic comeback earlier this season, and their seventh-worst defensive rating doesn’t help their case. Ultimately, history repeated itself as the Clippers staged yet again another double digit comeback to beat the Wizards in a clutch 115-109 victory.
Reggie Jackson’s efficient and impactful first quarter performance was a sight for sore eyes, but the Wizards did end up holding a slight lead to start the second quarter. They continuously exploited the paint, scoring 36 to the Clippers’ 24 points in the paint in the first half. Transition defense was also a weak point for the home team, but the scoring output from Marcus Morris, Luke Kennard, and Jackson helped compensate. They each scored in double digits, combining for 40 points in the first half on 72 percent shooting, which helped the Clippers grab a two point lead ahead of the break.
MOOK— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) March 10, 2022
18 PTS | 77.8% FG | 100% 3FG | 7 REB pic.twitter.com/lklgaiT5uI
The Clippers struggled initially in the third quarter, allowing the Wizards to get out to a 10 point lead which undid much of the progress made in the quarter before. Their team-oriented offense posed a variety of challenges for the Clippers, from simple pick-and-roll actions that would get Daniel Gafford easy lob opportunities to Kyle Kuzma’s quick slashes to the hoop for easy looks at the rim. However, the home team closed the gap to just two by scoring eight straight points to end the third, capped by two difficult three pointers from Kennard.
By the time the fourth quarter started, the Clippers were well-positioned to regain the lead and complete their comeback before the buzzer sounded. It took less than three minutes for that to happen. The Wizards did reclaim their lead and held it with as little as 32 seconds to go, but a go-ahead three pointer by Nicolas Batum is what secured the win for the Clippers. While the scoring from Jackson, Morris, and Kennard will attract most of the attention, the defensive impact from the Clippers can’t be understated. They racked up 10 blocks as a team, Hartenstein leading with three. While this 115-109 victory certainly is a relief for fans, the players won’t have much time to rest ahead of a road matchup against the Hawks on Friday.