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Wizards vs Clippers Recap: Washington’s winning streak clipped by LA, 125-109

The Wizards fought hard for a half before the Clippers and Kawhi Leonard pulled away in the third quarter

Los Angeles Clippers v Washington Wizards Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Wizards’ first win streak of the season is over. It lasted two games. May it rest in peace. Washington fell to the Los Angeles Clippers 125-109 in Brian Keefe’s fourth game as interim coach. After a tight first half, the Clippers outscored the Wizards 40-19 in the third quarter to turn the game into a blowout. The loss drops Washington to 9-38 on the season. They remain one of two teams in the NBA that have not yet won double-digit games along with the Pistons.

Jordan Poole was a late scratch for Washington due to an illness. He would have been right at home in the opening quarter as both teams were scoring at will. The Clippers and Wizards posted offensive ratings around 150 as LA led 47-35 at the end of the first. Kyle Kuzma was cooking early with 14 of DC’s first 21 points. He got to his spots and made tough shots over smaller defenders. Corey Kispert added a scoring punch of his own with 13 points in the first half.

Bilal Coulibaly got the start in place of Poole and responded very well. He picked up James Harden full court and held his own for a half against one of the league’s greatest scorers. He even picked Harden’s pocket at one point. He gave the Wizards their only lead of the game on a thunderous dunk late in the first quarter.

The scoring kept up through the end of the first half. Washington trailed 60-66 heading into the third quarter. Then a familiar story took hold. The Clippers started scoring, the Wizards struggled to score in the half court, DC turnovers gave LA easy points, and the game quickly got out of Washington’s reach. The 21-point blitz in the third quarter was Washington’s second-worst plus/minus in a quarter this season.

Kawhi Leonard poured in 12 of his 31 points in the third quarter. Deni Avdija put up a valiant effort but Leonard would not be denied on his way to the rim and elbow jumpers. James Harden put up 25 points on 5 of 10 shooting from three to go along with 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 4 blocks. Russell Westbrook added 9 points and 7 assists of his own.

Kuzma finished as the Wizards’ leading scorer with 27 points on 22 field goal attempts. Coulibaly logged a career-high 16 field goal attempts as he scored 19 points. Avdija (13), Kispert (16), and Marvin Bagley III (10) rounded out the scoring for DC.

Washington has three games left in this homestand. The Miami Heat comes to the Nation’s Capital on Friday at 7 pm after breaking a seven-game win streak tonight. Unfortunately, Miami might be Washington’s easiest opponent for at least a couple of weeks. Phoenix, Cleveland, Boston, and Philadelphia all await the Wizards in February.