Clippers hold off upset-minded Wizards 94-87

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 20, 2013 at 1:29 am •  Published: January 20, 2013
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Coming off a sweep of their three-game road trip through Memphis, Houston and Minnesota, the Clippers improved their home record to 19-4. The win was their fourth in a row since the 104-101 loss to Orlando on Jan. 12 that ended their franchise-record, 13-game home winning streak.

John Wall scored 24 points off the bench for the Wizards, whose league-worst record dropped to 8-30 even though they had won four of their previous five games.

"It was a close battle out there tonight," said Wizards forward Nene, who had 12 points and seven rebounds. "There were things we couldn't control, but it was close. The Clippers are good. They play together and trust each other, and they won. But we are playing much better."

Wall, whose block of Ty Lawson's potential game-tying layup in the final seconds helped the Wizards escape Denver with a 112-108 victory on Friday night and snap an eight-game road losing streak, shot 7 for 16 and had six assists in his fifth game of the season. The NBA's top overall draft pick in 2010 returned to action on Jan. 12 after missing the team's first 33 games with a stress injury to his left kneecap, but has yet to start.

The Wizards are a league-worst 2-17 on the road. They haven't won consecutive games on the same road trip since last Feb. 12-14, when they beat Detroit by 21 points and Portland by 15 before losing to the Clippers the following night at Staples Center.

"They're a good team despite their record. I mean, going into Denver last night and getting a win is not an easy thing to do," Matt Barnes said. "They've got a lot of talent, they just haven't figured out how to put it together."

Los Angeles missed 11 of its first 14 shots in the fourth quarter before Paul hit a 3-pointer that gave it an 85-80 lead with 3:14 to play.

Bradley Beal hit a 3-pointer at the other end and Wall made one of two free throws to cut the Clippers' margin to 85-84 with 2 minutes remaining. But Griffin hit a pair of free throws, then converted his offensive rebound of Paul's missed jumper into a reverse layup for an 89-86 advantage. Paul helped clinch it with a 17-footer and two free throws in the final 33 seconds.

NOTES: The Clippers have won eight straight against the Wizards since a 106-94 loss at Washington on Jan. 31, 2009. They had never beaten that franchise more than three straight times prior to this streak since the rivalry began in 1970-71, when the marquee read: "Buffalo Braves vs. Baltimore Bullets." The Clippers' longest winning streak against any club is 11, against Dallas from 1992-1994. ... Wall committed a league-worst 255 turnovers in 66 games during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, six fewer than he had in 69 games as a rookie in 2009-10. ... Clippers reserve F Lamar Odom — still looking for his 300th career double-double — has played in 94 regular-season games since his previous one on April 8, 2011, when he had 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers at Portland. He's started only five games during that stretch. ... The Clippers lead the league with 872 points off turnovers, including the 19 they scored on Washington's 18 miscues. ... Paul, who came in averaging a league-best 2.62 steals, has recorded at least one in 52 consecutive regular-season games — the league's longest active streak. His career best is 108 straight.