Clippers once again side with Wizards for 115-109 win | Basketball
By JOE REEDY – AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Reggie Jackson and the Los Angeles Clippers didn’t need the second-greatest comeback in NBA history to beat the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
Just a nice 11-0 run to close things out.
Jackson scored 31 points and assisted on the go-ahead 3-pointer from Nicolas Batum with 31.2 seconds left as the Clippers scored the final 11 points in a 115-109 win over the Wizards.
“We stayed resilient and kept our composure,” said Jackson, who was 12 of 21 from the field and also had seven assists in 39 minutes. “We played missing a few shots and found a way to get saves.”
Los Angeles held Washington scoreless for the final 2:37, and Jackson’s two free throws with 12.3 seconds left to give the Clippers a four-point lead.
The Wizards blew leads to lose both of their meetings against Los Angeles this year, although that hole wasn’t as deep as the previous meeting. The Clippers rallied from a 35-point first-half deficit to defeat the Wizards 116-115 on Jan. 25, the second-best comeback in league history.
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Jackson hit 30 points for the third time this season, including twice in the last four games. The 10-year veteran guard emerged as the Clippers’ leader with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard sidelined most of the season with injuries.
“He loves those moments down the stretch, whether it’s getting the big shot or passing that corner to Nico for the 3,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “He was great for us. He may run out, but we’re trying to do something special and stay afloat. It was one of those games where we needed 39 minutes from him.
Marcus Morris Sr. added 27 points and Luke Kennard 19 for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Kristaps Porzingis, acquired in a trade from Dallas last month, had 19 points in his second game with the Wizards. Rui Hachimura had 18, and former Lakers players Kyle Kuzma (17) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (16) had solid games upon their return to Los Angeles.
“We need to do a better job collectively on the offsets we’re trying to achieve and the type of look we’re trying to achieve,” Kuzma said. “It’s something we haven’t done and we have to figure it out.”
Washington trailed 70-69 midway through the third quarter before going 16-5 with 1:13 to go. The Clippers responded by scoring the final eight points of the quarter, including consecutive 3-pointers from Kennard to shoot 85-83 going into the final 12 minutes.
The Clippers eventually took a 100-95 lead before the Wizards responded with a 14-4 rally, including eight straight points to close the run 109-104 with 2:37 remaining.
“We were aggressive at the start. We scored quite a bit in the racket, but we stagnated a bit in the second half and they made some plays. It’s tough,” Washington coach Wes Unseld Jr.
The Clippers have won their last 14 home games against the Wizards, the longest home winning streak against a team in franchise history.
They previously beat the Jazz in 13 consecutive home games from 1976 to 1981, when the franchise was based in Buffalo and San Diego.
The Clippers hit a season low of 35.5% from the field in Tuesday night’s 112-97 loss to Golden State, but went 43 of 86 against the Wizards, including 16 of 32 beyond the ‘bow.
Wizards: Daniel Gafford (14 points, 10 rebounds) had his seventh double-double of the season. Raul Neto added 12 points. … Washington was 10 of 27 from beyond the arc after shooting 44.9 percent the past five games.
Clippers: Ivica Zubac added 10 points and nine rebounds. … Robert Covington missed his second straight game for personal reasons.
Wizards: Stay in Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Friday.
Clippers: Start a three-game road trip against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.
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