Wittman: Give Clippers "a lot of credit"
Chris Paul put on a clinic in efficiency for the Los Angeles Clippers, who end their seven-game road trip with their fourth win and hand the Wizards their fourth consecutive defeat.
Paul had a game-high 38 points, 12 assists and three steals to get the best of John Wall in front of 16,509 at Verizon Center.
All five of the Clippers' five starters reach double figures -- Jamal Crawford 17, Jared Dudley and Blake Griffin 16 and DeAndre Jordan 15 -- as only nine points came from their reserves.
Marcin Gortat had his second sub-par performance in a row for Washington (9-13), with just six points on 3-for-10 shooting. Martell Webster had 12 points but failed to make a three-pointer for the second consecutive game.
The Wizards trailed by as many as 22 points in the third quarter but ended with a 13-3 run to get to 89-77 entering the fourth. Backup center Kevin Seraphin contributed five points and Wall four in that stretch.
The Wizards' defense focused on taking away "Lob City" but couldn't put a lid on the Clippers' hot shooting. They made 21 of their first 37 shots, for 56.8%, in the first half. When the game was over, the Clippers shot 39-for-69 overall, 56.5%, and made 26 of 31 free throws.
Turning point: After a three-pointer by Trevor Ariza cut the deficit to 19-15, the Clippers quickly extinguished all hope. Consecutive threes from Crawford and Dudley pushed the lead to double digits, which is where it remained for most of the contest.
Best in show: Paul only needed 14 shots to score his 38 points, and when the Wizards mounted a comeback he smothered it quickly in the fourth with consecutive shots in the lane, a three-pointer over Webster who contested it well and another three. His brilliance overshadowed an otherwise solid outing by Wall, who had 24 points on 10-for-16 shooting and 12 assists. Paul had just two turnovers, but Wall had six -- two on charging calls in the fourth quarter.
From the locker room: "This was the first game where we really got destroyed. We had no chance to come back, but we tried. Then they came back with two, three good shots and they built the lead up again. This was the first game where we truly had no chance to win the game. They were just way better." -- Gortat
"All of them were in sync. We came out a little sluggish. Maybe last night had something to do with it, traveling back." -- Wizards forward Trevor Booker
"We gave three games away. That's one thing we are frustrated about. You've got to move past that and look at the next game. Tonight, we came out but they were on a roll, knocking down shots, getting whatever they wanted. We fought our way back but it was still tough to come back and get a win." -- Wall
"Our guys were ready. You can hear them talking before the games. Chris was great. In every timeout I kept hearing Blake Griffin saying, 'No let up. Let's not think about it. Let's keep playing.' Those two guys' verbal leadership was phenomenal before the game and during the game. It was a good win. CP, the shooting that he did today was amazing. He missed three shots, scored 38 points and was only out for three minutes. That's impressive." -- Clippers coach Doc Rivers
Around the bend: The Wizards will be off Sunday and travel to New York to begin a three-game road trip, starting Monday at the Knicks (CSN, 7:30 p.m. ET), Wednesday at the Brooklyn Nets (CSN, 7:30) and Saturday at the Boston Celtics (CSN, 1).