NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 14th
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (15-9) at Washington Wizards (9-12), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers visited his
old stomping grounds and also some former players on this 13-day, seven-game
road trip, which comes to an end Saturday against the Washington Wizards.
The Clippers bested the Boston Celtics in Rivers' return to Beantown on
Wednesday, but Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett got the best of their old head
coach in a 102-93 win for the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday.
Chris Paul had 20 points, Jamal Crawford added 19 and Blake Griffin finished
with 12 to go along with 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who are 3-3 on the trip
and 7-7 as the visitor. DeAndre Jordan had 12 boards in defeat and Los Angeles
shot just 37.1 percent from the field and made 6-of-24 3-pointers.
"I didn't like our movement," Rivers said of the Clippers' offense.
Los Angeles finished 67.3 percent (35-of-52) from the charity stripe, while
Brooklyn scored 19 points off 15 L.A. turnovers and erased an early 12-point
deficit. The Nets used a 30-13 run in the final 8:54 of the first half.
"We got off to a good start. We have to take the positive out of that,"
Crawford said. "Don't get too down, don't beat yourself up over it and correct
different things we can correct."
L.A. was 8-0 when Paul scores at least 20 points this season and will start a
four-game homestand Monday versus San Antonio, New Orleans, Denver and
The Wizards are coming off a tough 101-99 overtime loss in Atlanta on Friday,
as Hawks forward Al Horford hit the game-winning jumper off an inbounds pass.
The Wizards rallied from 15 points down in the fourth quarter and were led by
Trevor Booker's 24 points and 14 rebounds.
Martell Webster scored 15 points, John Wall added 13 and 11 assists and Marcin
Gortat finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who scored 25
of the 40 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime and shot 42 percent.
"I'll give them credit for staying in the fight and having an opportunity to
win the game," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "But when you don't play for
42 minutes, you've got to play perfect basketball. ... I just don't think we
were ready to play."
Washington, which has dropped three in a row, is back home and owns a 6-4
record in D.C. After Saturday's game the Wizards will head back to the road
for four straight against New York, Brooklyn, Boston and Minnesota.
The Wizards hope forward Nene (foot) can return to the court and are already
dealing without guard Bradley Beal (leg) and forward Al Harrington (knee).
Beal leads the team with 20.6 points per game and Nene is averaging 14.8 ppg.
Washington and Los Angeles will play the first of two meetings this season and
are scheduled to meet Jan. 29 at Staples Center. The Wizards and Clippers
split a pair of matchups in 2012-13 and L.A. is 8-1 in the past nine
encounters between the teams.
The Wizards halted an eight-game slide in this series with a 98-90 victory on
Feb. 4 in D.C. The Clippers have lost eight of 12 trips to Washington.
12/14 10:29:49 ET