In losing in their seventh attempt to get over the .500 hump, this is probably one the Wizards can live with considering Wednesday's opponent and how well they performed on both ends. They erased a 16-point deficit and cut it to one on several occasions in the fourth quarter but couldn't get past the Los Angeles Clippers, who have the second best home record in the NBA at 19-3.
The Wizards (22-23) end this four-game road trip at 2-2, getting victories at the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors. The Clippers (33-15) were led by Blake Griffin with a game-high 29 points, 16 in the first half. DeAndre Jordan finished with 14 points and 17 rebounds.
John Wall helped spark the defense in the third quarter, when the Wizards forced the Clippers (33-15) into seven turnovers. Bradley Beal scored 10 points to start the fourth quarter with mostly shots in the lane to spark the offense. Wall and Martell Webster missed three-point shots during one trip down the floor that could've given them the lead.
With 2:50 left in the game, Nene slipped a screen he'd set for Wall, caught the ball in the paint and when the defense drew to him shoveled a pass to Kevin Seraphin for the layup to make the score 100-99.
But J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford kept the Wizards at bay from that point on. The duo finished with 41 combined points as the Clippers shot 49.3% (36 of 73) from the field.
The Wizards made 51.1% of their shots (45 of 88), but the difference proved to be at the foul line. They were 10-for-17 there and the Clippers 32-for-42.
Beal led five players in double figures with 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting. Still playing under a 30-minute restriction, he had to exit the fourth despite having the hot hand and spared for the last three minutes but by then the momentum had subsided. Wall finished with 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting and 11 assists. Nene had 14 points, Trevor Ariza 13 and Seraphin 10. The bench, led by Seraphin, contributed 29 points.
Turning point: Jordan had two blocked shots, his only ones of the game, in crunch time that led to a 24-second shot-clock violation by Washington. Then Jordan, a 40% foul shooter who was being fouled intentionally, made all of his free throws down the stretch.
Key stat: The Wizards had 31 assists on 45 field goals, marking the sixth game with 30 or more this season. They had five such games all of last season.
Foul trouble: Wall wasn't able to rest long because Garrett Temple was call for three fouls in six minutes trying to defend Crawford. Nene went to the bench after 11 minutes because of three fouls in the first half, too.
From the locker room: Check back later to see what players and coaches had to say about the result.
Around the bend: The Wizards spent the night in Los Angeles and will leave Thursday morning to return to D.C. They'll have it off and return to practice at Verizon Center on Friday. They play the Oklahoma City Thunder there on Saturday (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).