Garrett Temple intercepted an errant pass from Los Angeles Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe and tossed an outlet pass ahead to John Wall. Wall scooted up the floor, all alone on the break, and was preparing for his first easy basket of a night in which he had to scrap and claw for everything else.
"I was just thinking, praying, just please, let something go in," said Wall, who leaned back and threw down a left-handed dunk that did more than just secure a 98-90 victory for the Washington Wizards on Monday night at Verizon Center. Wall finally earned his first career win against the Clippers, a team that has managed to torment him more than many others.
After throwing down the dunk, Wall chest-bumped Trevor Ariza and stomped down the floor, unconcerned that he didn't have his best performance against Bledsoe, his friend and former college teammate, or that the Clippers were playing without Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. The Wizards (12-35) ended an eight-game losing streak against the Clippers and Wall claimed his first victory over the franchise in six tries.
"Wasn't the prettiest, but we'll take it, definitely," Coach Randy Wittman said after the Wizards also snapped a four-game losing streak. "Hey listen, we've played enough games without players. Don't give me that .?.?. about who was here and who wasn't here [for the Clippers]. This is a game we won. Give me a break."
Five players scored in double figures for the Wizards, with Martell Webster leading the team with 21 points and connecting on 5 of 6 three-pointers. Nene had 15 points, Temple scored 12 and Ariza had 10 off the bench, including a huge three-pointer during an 11-2 run that helped the Wizards turn a one-point game into a 91-81 lead in the final minutes.
Wall had 13 points and eight assists and capped the run with the emphatic jam as the Wizards won for the sixth time in their last seven games at Verizon Center. Monday's win was their fourth at home over against a division leader after also knocking off Miami, Oklahoma City and Chicago.
Washington snaps eight-game losing streak to Los Angeles
Washington Post | Feb 5