Let's face it—we all had this road trip to LA circled on our calendars as tough (yet) must-watch games. The Wizards squared off against four of the league's best players in LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George all in one weekend. They also faced two of the deepest benches in the league as well while shorthanded with both Moe Wagner and CJ Miles out with injuries. This trip was a tough yet valuable learning experience for the team’s young core.
At the end of the first quarter, it was looking like the Wizards might give the Clips a run for their money, ending the quarter with only a 4 point deficit. However, a Paul George lead onslaught gave the Clippers a healthy lead that the Wizards were unable to fight back from for the remainder of the game. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard ended the game with a combined 65 point barrage. Montrezl Harrell added 23 points and 15 rebounds.
Thomas Bryant, who is usually key to the Wizards winning games, struggled on both ends of the floor all night. He finished with 9 points shooting 3 for 11 from the field, and 3 for 6 from the foul line. Defensively, he had no answers for Montrezl Harrell, who had his way with Bryant all night long. Bryant looked visibly winded at the end of the first half after clocking 19 minutes, and he never seemed to recover through the remainder of the game.
One positive take away from the game - we got to witness Rui Hachimura’s first 30-point performance of his career, leading the team in total shots shooting 13 for 23. Beal added 23 points to the mix.
Davis Bertans had himself a night as well, tying his career high in 3-pointers made with 6 on the night. He finished with 20 points. Let’s hope that Coach Brooks begins to funnel more minutes to Bertans, who has proven himself to be an extremely efficient scorer.
Overall, this game was one that the team should put behind them and not dwell on too much. The Clippers are one of the best (if not the best) team in the league right now, and even with the loss, there were some silver linings. The 4 game west coast road trip is finally over!
The Wizards will play the Clippers again next Sunday (12/8) in DC.