Despite the fact that neither team is heading to the playoffs this season, there’s still plenty of intrigue behind Wednesday evening’s matchup between the L.A. Clippers and Washington Wizards at Staples Center.
The last two first-overall draft picks, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and the Wizards’ John Wall, will face-off for the second time in the last two weeks.
The Clippers dominated the first matchup, winning their most lopsided game of the season with a 122-101 romp in D.C. back on March 12.
Griffin scored 26 points (all in the first half), but the real story for the Clippers in that game was backup point guard Eric Bledsoe.
Bledsoe, who played alongside Wall at the University of Kentucky last season, scored a career-high 23 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists in just 22 minutes of action off-the-bench.
Wall, whose solid rookie campaign has been overshadowed by the extreme futility of the Wizards, scored 25 points, dished out eight assists and grabbed seven rebounds in the last game between the teams.
While the Clippers’ point guards (Bledsoe and Mo Williams) combined to score 45 points, the real difference in the game came in the paint, where the Clippers outscored the Wizards 52-38.
L.A. also won the battle on the boards 50-38.
Griffin has been struggling a bit of late, and hasn’t recorded a double-double since March 7 against Charlotte. He has scored a total of 69 points in the last four games combined, but 30 of those came in Saturday’s win over the hapless Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Wizards, a dreadful 1-32 on the road this season, will likely be without injured starters Andray Blatche, Rashard Lewis and Nick Young.
Rookie Jordan Crawford, acquired from the Hawks prior to the trade deadline in a deal that sent Kirk Hinrich to Atlanta, has been playing well in a Wizards uniform. He’s averaging nearly 13 points per game in 13 games with Washington, and scored 16 in the last game with the Clippers.
Crawford appeared in just 16 games total for the Hawks this season.
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan missed Sunday’s loss to the Phoenix Suns with a mild case of pneumonia, and his status is uncertain for Wednesday.
Chris Kaman, an All-Star last season, scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Jordan’s place Sunday afternoon.
Washington is coming off of a miserable 111-76 slaying at the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday.
After this game, the Clippers will face the Lakers “on the road” Friday evening.
Tip-off for Wednesday is scheduled for 7:30pm PT.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers, and covers the Los Angeles Dodgers for ProSportsBlogging.com.