It certainly wasn’t pretty. But it goes in the win column.
The Los Angeles Clippers finally were back home after their 12 day, seven game Grammy Road Trip beating the Washington Wizards, 110-103 Wednesday in front of their 116th consecutive sellout crowd at Staples Center.
All-Star starting forward Blake Griffin led five Clippers (33-15) in double-figures with 29 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Center DeAndre Jordan worked another double-double grabbing 17 rebounds and scoring 14 points – six of those points coming at the free-throw line with the Wizards employing the “hack-a-Jordan” strategy getting the 40% free-throw shooter at the charity stripe in the last two minutes of each half. He hit his last six of ten.
“After I missed the first four, I felt like they left my hand good.” Said Jordan. “My teammates just kept telling me those are good misses, just keep shooting the way you’re shooting it.”
These aren’t your father’s Wizards. Washington came into the contest with 22 wins and 22 losses looking to get over the .500 mark for the first time since the second year of President Barack Obama’s first term.
Last time they were this competitive, they were called the Bullets and Jimmy Carter was president.
Five Wizards (22-23) also scored in double-figures led by Bradley Beal’s 20 points and guard John Wall who registered a double-double scoring 19 points and dishing out 11 assists.
The Clippers led 62-51 going into the half after a pair of monster dunks by Jordan and Griffin. Los Angeles then opened up a 72-56 lead in the third only to see it evaporate at 81-74 after three.
The game was in question throughout the fourth when the Wizards got to within one at 98-97 with just over three minutes left in the game. Then the Clippers went on an eight-two run with four of Jordan’s makes at the line to finally put the game away.
“He did a good job tonight.” Said Griffin of Jordan’s free throw shooting. “When he goes to the line in those situations, he needs to be confident.”
Wednesday’s win over the Wizards was L.A.’s eleventh in 14 games without point guard Chris Paul who’s still nursing a separated right shoulder. His back-up – Darren Collison – filled in nicely again scoring the Clippers’ first eight of 16 points in the game in his way to a 16-point, nine-assist night.
The Clippers are right back on the road again heading to Oakland for a clash with the Golden State Warriors Thursday night – the scene of the Clippers Christmas Day loss when Blake Griffin was called for two technical fouls automatically ejecting him from the game in the third quarter.
Tip-off is set for 7:30pm from Oracle Arena.