NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Washington 27 22 32 31 112
LA Clippers 30 32 23 28 113
12:30 PM PT1:30 PM MT2:30 PM CT3:30 PM ET20:30 GMT4:30 1:30 PM MST3:30 PM EST0:30 UAE (+1)21:3015:30 ET2:30 PM CTNaN:� , December 9, 2017
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California  Attendance: 15,739

Beal leads Wizards into matchup with Clippers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Washington Wizards at Los Angeles Clippers

  1. This will be the first meeting of the season between the Wizards and the Clippers. Washington has dropped its last nine road contests in this series, with its last such victory coming back on February 13, 2008.
  2. With its 109-99 win over Phoenix on Thursday, Washington improved to 11-1 on the season when holding its opponent to fewer than 100 points in a game.
  3. With Wednesday's loss to the Timberwolves, the Clippers have now dropped their last five games when Blake Griffin has not played (0-4 in 2017-18).
  4. Bradley Beal's 8 total points in his last two games are the most he has ever had over a two-game span in a single season. The most he has ever had over a three-game span in a single season is 114, earlier this season (November 1-5).
  5. DeAndre Jordan has made 22 of his 27 field-goal attempts this month (.815). Entering this season, the highest FG percentage in the month of December by any player since 1983-84 was 78.1 percent (James Donaldson, 1984-85) (minimum 0.6 FGM/team G).
  6. Wesley Johnson had three blocked shots in Wednesday's loss to the Timberwolves. It was his 10th consecutive game with at least one block. Entering this weekend, that was the third-longest active streak in the league.

LOS ANGELES -- It will not just be the Washington Wizards who roll into the Staples Center for a Saturday afternoon matinee, the Bradley Beal show is also coming to Los Angeles.

The Wizards have won consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 15 and Beal's offensive surge has marked the occasion. The sharp-shooting guard scored 34 points in a Wizards' victory on Thursday at Phoenix and poured in 51 during a victory Tuesday at Portland.

It remains to be seen what Beal might be able to do against an undermanned Clippers' squad, which is expected to use Austin Rivers' backcourt defense to alter the Wizards' current winning formula. But the Clippers will need more than just defense to get the job done.

It is closing in on two weeks since forward Blake Griffin was sidelined with a sprained left knee and the Clippers have not won since. The losing streak is now at four after the most recent stumble Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Los Angeles is also without guards Milos Teodosic (foot) and Patrick Beverley (out for the season after knee surgery). Forward Danilo Gallinari did return Wednesday after missing 13 games with a strained hip but struggled offensively, going 2-of-13 from the field and 1-of-5 from 3-point range.

"If it was just Blake, we'd be OK, but you miss (Gallinari), Milos, Patrick Beverley ... Patrick Beverley defensively is probably what we miss the most," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said at practice Friday. "With Blake and (Gallinari) together to start the season, we could switch everything defensively. Now, you can't do that."

The Wizards are sure to test the limits of what they can get away with on offense. Los Angeles has given up an average of 114.8 points per game in their four defeats without Griffin. Combine that with a relentless defense and the Clippers could have a long day ahead of them.

Washington figures to step on the gas early and often to better resemble the approach they displayed in Portland and Phoenix. It would further distance themselves from a dismal defeat at Utah on Monday when they scored just 69 points (matching the NBA season low) and shot just 28.7 percent from the field.

That clunker is a distance memory, though, as the Wizards head into Saturday's game with complete confidence.

"Not to take nothing away from these teams, but you've got to look at the teams that we beat," Wizards forward Markieff Morris said about the two-game win streak, according to the Washington Post. "(Thursday) we won a game without their best player (Devin Booker). We got a Clippers team that's got a bunch of players hurt. A Brooklyn team (on Tuesday) that's middle of the pack. So those are games, that in all honesty, we're supposed to win."

The Clippers used to sound the same way, back when the season was in its infancy. But Teodosic went down first with a plantar faciitis injury during the home opener. Nobody knew at the time what was about to come.

Teodosic was officially listed as "doubtful" for Saturday's game. But that's an upgrade from the status of "out" the Clippers had been submitting. The guard could return to action next week.

Wizards star point guard John Wall also looks doubtful for Saturday's game. He has missed the last two weeks with a left knee injury and like Teodosic, isn't likely to return until next week. Wizards forward/center Jason Smith remains day to day with his own knee injury, while guard Sheldon Mac remains out indefinitely with a leg injury.

Updated December 8, 2017

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