NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, February 4th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (34-15) at Washington Wizards (11-35), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers continue their long Grammy road trip Monday night when they visit the nation's capital to take on the Washington Wizards.
The Clips are 1-2 so far on their long odyssey prompted by the Grammy Awards hitting the Staples Center on Sunday night. They've lost their last two. On Friday, they suffered their worst loss of the season, a 98-73 drubbing at the hands of the Toronto Raptors.
On Sunday, the Clippers lost a tough one in Boston to the Celtics, 106-104. Paul Pierce hit a step-back 3-pointer with under three seconds on the clock to ice the victory.
Los Angeles fought back well in this one, after falling 19 behind at the half. The Clippers held the Celtics to 14 points in the final frame, but it wasn't enough.
Eric Bledsoe, filling in for the injured All-Star guard Chris Paul, scored 23 points, handed out 10 assists and grabbed seven rebounds. Jamal Crawford had 23 off the bench and had some late looks from beyond the arc that didn't fall. Crawford started the game out with a protective mask over his fractured nose, but took it off in the second quarter.
Blake Griffin netted 20 points and pulled down 11 boards, but the Clippers were done in, not just by the second-quarter run of the Celtics, but by 21 turnovers.
"I thought we fought back well," said head coach Vinny Del Negro. "Obviously, we had some chances. But we turned the ball over way too much. And we're a little out sync right now, you know, with the rotations, but that's no excuse. We just played harder in the second half. They made some tough shots, which sometimes you'd expect."
The Clippers have lost six of their last eight, mostly with Paul out of the lineup with a bruised right kneecap. He is listed as day-to-day and L.A. still has four more road games on the trip after Monday night.
The Wizards return home from an unsuccessful road trip. Washington went 0-3 in stops in Philadelphia, Memphis and San Antonio. They lost at home to the Sacramento Kings before the sojourn to account for their four-game losing streak.
The most recent setback for the Wizards came Saturday night against the Spurs. San Antonio held the Wiz to 26 points in the first half, including just nine in the second quarter.
Washington fought back and scored 60 in the second half, but it wasn't enough to defeat the Spurs.
"Well the first half we didn't play together or with any enthusiasm," said head coach Randy Wittman. "We played some different guys and we played together with enthusiasm and some heart in the second half. When we do that we are a pretty good team. That's the team we were a couple of weeks ago."
The Wizards had won seven of 10 prior to this losing streak and played their three road games without rookie guard Bradley Beal, who was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for January, his second straight month with the honor. Beal has a sprained right wrist and is listed as questionable for Monday.
The Clippers won this season's only matchup, 94-87, in L.A. The Clippers have won eight in a row in this series and their last three in Washington.
02/04 10:47:12 ET