In a much-anticipated Saturday night showdown, the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Washington Wizards, 114-107. The story of the night was John Wall’s DC homecoming, and he and the Clippers made sure Capital One Arena felt their presence.
FINAL: Clippers 114, Wizards 107— Marco Gacina (@MarcoGacina) December 11, 2022
Stat pack from tonight's game:
Kuzma (WAS): 35 pts/12 reb/7-10 from three
Porzingis (WAS): 30 pts/15 reb (!!!)
George (LAC): 36 pts/8 reb/6 ast
Goodwin (WAS): 17 pts/6 steals (career high)#ClipperNation #DCAboveAll
The Wizards had a double-digit lead at multiple points during the first half, and Kuzma had 25 points by halftime. Most of the game was the Kuzma and Porzingis show — the pair finished with a combined 65 points and 27 rebounds — and the Wizards shot a scorching 47% from three tonight.
It's looking like a career night from Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis. We're halfway through the 3rd quarter and here are their statlines:— Marco Gacina (@MarcoGacina) December 11, 2022
Kuzma - 30 points, 8 rebounds, +11 on the floor
Porzingis - 21 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists
Over 17 minutes of game left #DCAboveAll
Put simply, the Wizards ran out of steam after halftime. Kuzma cooled off, scoring just 10 points in the second half, and Washington had a number of mindless turnovers. Oh, and Paul George came to play. George took flight tonight, notching 36 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
Other than Kuzma and Porzingis, Jordan Goodwin was a bright spot for the Wizards tonight. He scored 17 points — two shy of his career-high of 19 set last night versus Indiana — and stole the ball a career-high six times.
Though the product on the court came up short, the return of former franchise player John Wall certainly brightened every Wizards fan’s spirit. Wall, who spent a decade with the Wizards, signed with the Clippers this summer after being bought out by the Houston Rockets. In 22 games so far this season, he is averaging 12.6 points and 5.6 assists off the bench. With starting point guard Reggie Jackson taking a perfectly-timed rest day, Wall given the starting role tonight.
Even though he had a quiet game statistically, Wall’s real impact came off the court. He was met with swaths of fans donning his former #2 jersey from his decade with the Wizards and cheering every time he touched the ball in the first quarter. During the Clippers’ first timeout, Wall was also the subject of a touching tribute on the Jumbotron that reminisced about and thanked him for his time with the Wizards.
Check out the Wizards’ tribute video to John Wall. It was aired on the Jumbotron during a first-quarter timeout, and Wall received a standing ovation from the crowd at the end. ❤️#DCAboveAll #ClipperNation @JohnWall pic.twitter.com/Kmg736CAgA— Marco Gacina (@MarcoGacina) December 11, 2022
John Wall signing autographs for Wizards fans has got to warm your heart ❤️#DCAboveAll @JohnWall pic.twitter.com/avFCERX9XR— Marco Gacina (@MarcoGacina) December 10, 2022
He’s back in the District. Welcome home @JohnWall!! pic.twitter.com/UqjRuozAzw— Marco Gacina (@MarcoGacina) December 10, 2022
Wall spent much of his pregame shootaround time talking with fans and signing everything from jerseys to basketballs to trading cards and more.
Now the losers of six straight, the Wizards are back home Monday night at 7 p.m., when Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets come to town.