The Wizards’ 127-119 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers was heartbreaking on many fronts, mostly because they haven’t had the opportunity to win many road games this season and may not have many more chances to be in that position with eight road games left.
Up five points with 94 seconds remaining in overtime, Jordan Crawford scooped up a loose ball that slipped from the hands of Clippers center Chris Kaman and the Wizards needed to run down the clock. Crawford had planned on running a pick-and-roll with Yi Jianlian but got into the play too early, got trapped near the baseline and fell out of bounds to give the ball right back.
Mo Williams quickly nailed a three-pointer to make it a two-point game. John Wall then let the clock run down some, but instead of trying to attack the basket — which had been successful for him most of the night — he pulled up and missed a 21-foot jumper. JaVale McGee helped keep that miss from being too damaging, as he swatted Eric Gordon’s drive to the basket with 31.8 seconds remaining. But after Wall missed a free throw, and Gordon tied the game on a three-pointer, the Wizards (17-53) just didn’t have enough left for a second overtime, getting outscored 14-6.
“I think a lot of us were tired,” Maurice Evans said. “Mentally, we’ve got to be a little bit tougher.”
As they prepare to face the Denver Nuggets on Friday, the Wizards need to win at least one more game away from Verizon Center to avoid matching the 1990-91 Sacramento Kings for the worst road record at 1-40. The Wizards will only face two teams on the road that aren’t in playoff contention — Cleveland and Golden State — although the Utah Jazz quickly is slipping out of the Western Conference race.
They also would need to win three of their final 12 games overall to avoid becoming the third team in franchise history that failed to win at least 20 games in an 82-game season. An effort like Wednesday’s would be a good start. The Wizards, Coach Flip Saunders said, “Just played hard. We wanted to compete and I thought we did, especially after a back to back. You got guys playing 50 minutes. We’ve been on the road two weeks. We’ve been on the road for a while. We’ve been so injured and so short in some spots. They are not using that as an excuse. We couldn’t find the execution down the stretch.”
And now they will have a hard time searching for wins the rest of the way, as well.
FROM THE POST
The Wizards showed some heart in their loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Flip Saunders wanted to foul before Eric Gordon attempted the tying three-pointer in overtime.
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