Wizards 98, Clippers 90By Benjamin Standig, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Mon, Feb 4, 2013 10:30 PM EST
WASHINGTON -- Martell Webster scored 21 points and sank five 3-pointers as the Washington Wizards snapped a four-game losing streak Monday night with a 98-90 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, who played without Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Nene and Garrett Temple each scored 15 points, and John Wall had 13 points and eight assists for the Wizards (12-35), who pulled away with a 11-2 run late in the fourth quarter for their first win over the Clippers since 2009. Returning from a 0-3 road trip, Washington has won five of six home games, including victories over Oklahoma City, Atlanta and Chicago. Paul has missed eight straight games with a bruised right kneecap, but Griffin's absence was surprising. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro did not mention potentially sitting the All-Star before the game and the team's own Twitter account did not provide an update until tipoff. The All-Star forward had played in 197 consecutive games before Monday's absence. Jamal Crawford paced the Clippers (34-16) with 28 points and DeAndre Jordan grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe scored 17 points and Caron Butler had 15 for Los Angeles, which committed eight of its 20 turnovers in the fourth quarter. The Wizards led after each quarter and took the lead for good on Webster's 3-pointer late in the third quarter. Leading 80-79 with less than six minutes remaining, Washington scored seven straight points, capped by Temple's mid-range jumper. Following a Jordan dunk, Wall responded with a jumper and his own dunk, giving the Wizards a 91-81 lead with 2:27 left. Griffin missed his entire rookie season with a broken kneecap. Since then the explosive forward had played in every game, including 37 minutes in Sunday's loss at Boston. In 49 games this season, Griffin is averaging 18.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists while shooting 52.2 percent from the field. Paul participated in pregame shootaround and Del Negro labeled the point guard as day-to-day. Without Paul, Los Angeles has started Bledsoe, who played with Wall at the University of Kentucky. The two friends and third-year guards both matriculated to the NBA after one season in college. Lamar Odom started in Griffin's place and collectively Los Angeles started slowly, trailing 24-16 after the first quarter. Crawford spurred the scoring with 12 of his 15 points in the second quarter, but Washington entered halftime up 51-46. Odom fouled out with three points and nine rebounds. Washington had lost eight straight against Los Angeles, including three at home. The team's split the season series. The Clippers won in Los Angeles 94-87 on Jan. 19. NOTES: Wizards guard Bradley Beal, named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in December and January, missed his fourth straight game with a right wrist sprain. ... Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro anticipates Chauncey Billups returning to the lineup before Paul though offered no timetable or assurance either guard would play on the current road swing. Billups has not played since Dec. 3 because of tendinitis in his left foot. ... ...Griffin posted his first career triple-double on March 3, 2011 against Washington. ... On Wednesday, the Clippers face the Orlando Magic and the Wizards play host to the New York Knicks.
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