By Lewis Gould
Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points and the Los Angeles Clippers routed Wiz 135-116, snapping the Wizards’ season-high five-game winning streak.
Paul George had 30 points before exiting with 7:19 remaining because of a minutes restriction after a toe injury. The Clippers had four bench players in double figures as their reserves outscored the Wizards’ subs 58-29.
Bradley Beal, the NBA’s leading scorer at 32.9 points per game, finished with 28 points and 10 assists. Russell Westbrook had 20 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.
“Guys were pretty disappointed that we didn’t play better,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said.
Washington cut an 18-point deficit to five going into the fourth quarter. But the Clippers’ bench was too much even with top reserve Lou Williams resting. Terrance Mann scored their first seven points in the period.
“Missing Lou, we needed that and they did a really good job,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said.
Westbrook scored on his offensive rebound, getting the Wizards within nine. They never got any closer, and were outscored 21-8 as the Clippers went up 132-110.
Reggie Jackson sandwiched consecutive 3-pointers between two dunks by Ivica Zubac, who had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Jackson finished with 17 points.
“When we need big minutes and a big game out of him, he delivers,” George said of Jackson. “He pushed the pace and made us play faster.”
Marcus Morris hit one of LA’s eight 3s in the fourth. Mann made two and Leonard had one.
“We’re playing the Clippers. They’re really, really good,” Wizards forward Moe Wagner said. “I don’t look at the fourth quarter, I look at the first half. You can’t let players like that get going or they’re going to pick you apart.”
Leonard and George teamed up for the Clippers’ first eight points of the third.
The Wizards outscored Los Angeles 16-4 to cut their deficit to 99-94 going into the fourth. Rui Hachimura and Davis Bertans had five points each, Beal had four, and Wagner scored inside to end the period with 13 points.
The Clippers maintained their momentum early in the second, extending their lead to 55-31. From there, the Wizards finally showed some life. Beal ran off seven in a row and hit a 3-pointer as part of a 24-17 run that left them trailing 72-55 at halftime. Washington’s three young starters — Wagner, Hachimura and Garrison Mathews — combined to shoot 5 of 10 in the first half.
George and Paul fueled a hot start for the Clippers. The two All-Stars combined to score their team’s first 16 points on the way to a 36-20 lead after one quarter.
The Wizards got off to a poor start, shooting 8 of 22 with just six rebounds. Beal and Westbrook were a combined 3 of 11.