Washington, which is in a tight battle with Indiana for fifth place in the Eastern Conference, started a season-high six-game trip against Western Conference teams with a 109-97 win over Utah on Thursday.
Gilbert Arenas scored 31 points, including six of Washington’s franchise-record 16 3-pointers, as the Wizards posted a second straight road win after losing seven of their previous eight away from the Verizon Center.
“It’s a great feeling to start off a road trip like that,” said Arenas, who is shooting 50 percent (14-of-28) from 3-point range in his last five games.
Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler each added 27 points to help the Wizards win for the fifth time in seven games. Jamison scored 20 of his 27 points in the first half, Butler helped the Wizards withstand a rally by the Jazz with 15 points in the third quarter and Arenas scored 12 in the fourth.
“I did it in the first half. Caron did it in the third quarter and Gilbert picked it up in the fourth. That’s how we roll,” Jamison said.
Washington meets Golden State, Sacramento, Houston and San Antonio before returning home to face New York on April 4.
The Clippers were victimized by clutch 3-point shooting in their last game, a 95-85 loss at Memphis on Thursday night. Los Angeles, which entered the contest 1 1/2 games in front of the Grizzlies for fifth place in the West, used an 8-0 run to close within 51-46 midway through the third period but Memphis pulled away with a 14-3 run fueled by 3s from Eddie Jones and Mike Miller.
“I just thought we didn’t take care of the basketball. The first biggest thing is turnovers,” coach Mike Dunleavy said. “Tonight was the most turnovers we have had all year long or close to it. We were much better in the second half than in the first. Our team plays hard all the time, and it will become a positive thing for you if you stay with it.”
Los Angeles has lost two in a row after winning six of its previous seven and could be short-handed against Washington. Cuttino Mobley left Thursday’s game in the first half with a sprained right ankle and did not return. He’s the only Clipper to play in every game this season.