The Washington Wizards lost to the LA Clippers, in what could have been a golden opportunity to close in on the top-seeded Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, Wednesday night.
For the Wizards, it was their defense, or rather lack thereof, that was their downfall Wednesday night against LA, giving up a season-high 57 percent from the field. It also marked the first time ever that the Clippers “Big 4” (Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick) each scored over 20 points in a game.
Washington head coach, Scott Brooks spoke after the game on LA’s scoring-
“They came out focused, attacked, and had us on our heels all night. DeAndre Jordan was all over the floor. He was contesting shots, blocking shots, getting dunks, getting to the free throw line and making them.”
Even with their poor defensive effort, the Wizards were very much still in this game in pulling within five points in the final 30 seconds of the game. That was due in large part from the incredible game put up by star guard John Wall, who boasted 41 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals, while shooting 16-23 from the field.
Wall has been on a hot streak of late, averaging 37.3 points, 11 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 3 steals in his last three games, each of which were on the road. He also shot an incredible .637 from the field and .444 from beyond the arc in that stretch.
He could definitely garner some extra MVP consideration if he can keep playing like this for the rest of Washington’s five game road stretch. Especially if that means the Wizards can close in on the top seed in the Eastern conference.
Wall spoke on the team’s loss after the game-
“We gave ourselves a chance, but we have to have a better defensive effort at the start of the game if we want to win here.”
This was a big win for the Clippers, who lost two of their last three heading into this game and were in danger of lessening their hold onto the fifth seed in the Western Conference standings over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Overall, this was a fairly disappointing end to the Wizards’ four game winning streak, especially considering they were so close to the top-seeded Cavaliers and Celtics.
With Boston losing earlier in the night to the Milwaukee Bucks, 103-100, the Wizards had the opportunity to pull within only one game of the two Conference leaders. They are, however, still within two games of the Cavs and Celtics, so the race to become top dog in the East is still very much active.
Next up for the Wizards a match-up against the Utah Jazz Friday night, their fourth of a five game road trip. It is scheduled to tip-off at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Washington guard, Bradley Beal hit 5-11 attempted three-pointers Wednesday night, bringing his season total for made three-point field goals to 209. He surpasses the franchise record for made threes in a single season that was set by Gilbert Arenas in both the 2004-’05 and 2006-’07 seasons, at 205.