Washington Wizards hold on to defeat Los Angeles Clippers

By Benjamin Standig, The Sports Xchange  |  Dec. 16, 2017 at 10:25 AM
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WASHINGTON -- Mike Scott did not imagine he would play or shoot at this level in his first season with the Washington Wizards. He is not alone. The forward simply credits the hard work he puts in every day.

Scott matched his season-high with 22 points off the bench and Bradley Beal had 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Washington Wizards overcame their latest uneven performance for a 100-91 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

The Wizards (16-13) could not put away their short-handed opponent until a decisive 17-5 run started with 4:52 remaining. Washington won its second consecutive game and gained revenge after falling to the Clippers last week.

John Wall had 15 points in 29 minutes in his second consecutive game after sitting out nine in a row following injections in his knee to help with inflammation.

Lou Williams had 23 points and Jawun Evans scored 15 for the Clippers (11-16). Los Angeles had won three in a row, starting with a 113-112 win over the Wizards on Dec. 9. DeAndre Jordan finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds.

Scott sank 9-of-10 shots from the field. Signed to a one-year veteran minimum contract during the offseason after a trying year on and off the court, the ex-Atlanta Hawk is shooting 34 of 43 (79.1 percent) over his last six games.

"Just in the zone," said Scott who battled injuries and legal issues during the 2016-17 season. "I still work on my game every day after shootaround and practice. Just having the same work ethic. The same routine."

Washington needed Scott's production because of issues with its starting frontcourt.

Otto Porter played only three minutes before exiting in the first quarter with a right thigh bruise. Markieff Morris was saddled with foul trouble before halftime. He picked up his fourth 52 seconds into the third quarter.

"Mike has been great for us all year," Morris said. "He was a great addition to our team. I'm glad we got him. We're looking forward to later in the season when we really need him."

Morris (hip, ankle) had eight points after sitting out Wednesday's 93-87 win over Memphis and his field goal broke an 82-82 tie. Kelly Oubre's four-point play with 3:11 remaining highlighted the key surge.

Already without star forward Blake Griffin (left MCL sprain) and guard Patrick Beverley (knee surgery), Los Angeles faced Washington without forward Danilo Gallinari (left glute contusion), third-leading scorer Austin Rivers (concussion) and guard Milos Teodosic.

"That's all you can ask," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of his side competing despite numerous injuries. "We're just going to try to stay in games and steal them at the end. That's what we tried to do tonight."

Ultimately, Los Angles committed too many turnovers (21) and miss too many shots, finishing at 38.8 percent from the floor.

The Clippers opened a four-game road trip with Wednesday's 106-95 win at Orlando.

Williams, who made his sixth start of the season Friday, scored 35 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds in the Clippers' home win over the Wizards. He committed four turnovers and finished 5-of-14 from the field in the rematch.

"We could have stole this one," Williams said. "I think we had three turnovers in a row. It might have been a turnover and a couple of missed shots, and they were able to capitalize on those missed shots for runouts."

Both meetings with the Clippers typify the Wizards struggles putting teams with losing records away.

Washington led in Los Angeles by four points and had two free throws pending with 51 seconds remaining in the first game.

The Wizards led by as many as 18 points early, but entered halftime up 48-43. After pushing the lead to 15 in the third quarter, they once again squandered their advantage. Evans, a defensive pest throughout, tied the game 79-79 on a jumper with 6:54 remaining.

Similar scenarios will be problematic with the second-best record in the East arriving next.

"I know one thing: We have to play better," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "With Cleveland coming here (Sunday), we're going to have to play much better on both ends of the floor."

🐼 all smiles. #WizClippers

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NOTES: Washington hosts Cleveland Sunday in the first meeting since LeBron James scored 57 points against the Wizards on Nov.3 in the Cavaliers' 130-122 win. ... Clippers G Milos Teodosic is expected to play in Saturday's game at the Miami Heat. The point guard played in the previous two games after missing 22 while recovering from a plantar fascia injury to his left foot. ... Wizards coach Scott Brooks said he implemented a no-dunking rule for Wall in practice to help the point guard protect his body similar to one he had with G Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City. Did it work? "They just looked at me and smirked, but they don't listen," Brooks cracked.

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