Five things to take from Clippers’ 114-109 victory over Wizards

The Clippers' Blake Griffin grabs a loose ball during Sunday;s win against the Washington Wizards at Staples Center. David Crane - Staff Photographer

Blake Griffin of the Clippers goes for a loose ball during the Clippers’ 114-109 victory over Washington on Sunday at Staples Center. It was Griffin’s first game back after missing the previous 45/Staff photo by David Crane

Blake Griffin returned after missing 45 games because of two injuries and a four-game suspension. He scored six points on 2 of 7 shooting in 24 1/2 minutes. He also grabbed five rebounds and doled out four assists and had a hard time handling a couple of passes. He was rusty, but that was to be expected. He at times became frustrated, which was also expected because he’s very hard on himself. He had a couple of fine moments, like when he caught a lob pass from Chris Paul in the first quarter and threw down a dunk. He had a behind-the-back pass to Paul in transition in the third quarter, the ball then ending up in the hands of J.J. Redick, who buried a corner 3-ball.

– One of the prettiest plays of the game came when Jamal Crawford hit DeAndre Jordan with a lob with 57.7 seconds left to play. Jordan was farther out than usual, so he had to throw down what can be best described as a long, monstrous dunk for a 110-104 lead. The two were talking about the play in the locker room afterward. They were stoked, to say the least.

– Nice game by Chris Paul. The point guard, who suddenly had Griffin back on the court with him, doled out 12 assists to go with his 27 points on 10 of 19 shooting. Griffin only made two baskets, and Paul had the assists of both of them. Paul scored 10 of his points during the all-important fourth quarter.

– Sixth-man Jamal Crawford is averaging 13.9 points on the season. But Crawford, 35, is averaging 18.0 points over the past five games. He scored 19 in this one on 6 of 12 shooting – 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Nine of those points came when they counted most, in the fourth quarter when the Clippers were holding off a Wizards team trying desperately to remain in the hunt for an Eastern Conference playoff berth. Crawford made 3 of 4 from the field in the quarter, all from 3-point range. He also had three of his six assists. It was terrific work for just over 25 minutes of play.

– The Wizards shot a respectful 45.7 percent from the field. But their guards – Bradley Beal and John Wall – combined to shoot 7 of 30 (23.3 percent). Beal shot 2 of 16, Wall 5 of 14. Some of that was good defense, some of it was just poor shooting. “We missed a lot of good looks, but we stuck with it,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. “I felt pretty good about the shots we missed, and I knew if we kept getting those shots in the second half that we could make a game of it.” Washington did just that, eventually pulling to as close as three points (110-107) with with 47.4 seconds to play after trailing by 12 (104-92) with 3:47 left.

BONUS TAKE: The Clippers (48-28) clinched homecourt advantage for the first round of the playoffs with this victory.

Paul Pierce has played with some of league’s top point guards

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Paul Pierce played this past season with the Washington Wizards, whose point guard is John Wall. Pierce is playing this season for the Clippers, whose point guard is Chris Paul.

Following the Clippers’ 108-91 victory at Washington on Monday, Pierce had an interesting response when asked about playing with Wall and Paul.

“I’ve had a tremendous opportunity to play with some great point guards, and it’s hard to distinguish one from the other,” Pierce said. “I’ve gone from (Rajon) Rondo, to John Wall, to Chris (Paul). Every point guard I play with, I’m like, ‘He’s the best point guard in the league.’ I don’t know if it’s the Paul Pierce effect, though.”



Chris Paul helps lead Clippers to 108-91 victory over host Wizards

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


The Clippers and Wizards were without respective – and injured – leading scorers Blake Griffin and Bradley Beal on Monday night in Washington. Apparently, the Wizards missed Beal more than the Clippers missed Griffin because the Clippers emerged with an impressive 108-91 victory.

The Clippers (19-13) led by as many as 26 points (106-80) with 4:15 to play.

Chris Paul led the Clippers with 23 points. He also had five rebounds and seven assists. Struggling Jamal Crawford came through with 21 points and shot 9 of 12 – 3 of 5 from 3-point range – off the bench. DeAndre Jordan scored 15 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. And reserves Wesley Johnson and Cole Aldrich scored 14 and 13, respectively, as the bench came through with 54 points, half of the overall total. With Griffin out, Paul Pierce started and scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds in 17 minutes.

The Clippers shot 52.6 percent, 30.4 percent (7 of 23) from 3-point range.

John Wall led Washington with 23 points and 11 assists. The Wizards (14-15) had won four in a row.

The Clippers have won three consecutive games.


Washington Wizards hold 15-point halftime lead on the visiting Clippers

The Clippers shot just 41 percent from the field – 10 percent (1 of 10) from 3-point range – in the first half at Washington and the Wizards hold a 57-42 lead at halftime.

DeAndre Jordan has nine points and seven rebounds for the Clippers (16-5), who have won nine games in a row. Chris Paul scored eight points and doled out three assists, but he also committed four turnovers.

The Wizards (15-6) got 11 points apiece from Kris Humphries and Bradley Beal in the half and John Wall scored 10 points and had six assists.

Washington shot 51.2 percent from the field, a whopping 75 percent (6 of 8) from beyond the arc.

Clippers backup post Spencer Hawes sustained what appeared to be a left knee injury.