September 20, 2020

Washington Wizards Game 29 Review: Clippers Dominate Wizards in Pierce’s Return

The Washington Wizards were riding a pretty impressive four-game winning streak headed into their home matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers. However, any momentum they had built up over that win streak was quickly stopped by the team of old friend Paul Pierce. The Clippers dominated from beginning to end, winning 108-91.

The Clippers outclassed the Wizards from the opening tip, mostly with the stellar play of L.A.’s 2-guards, Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford. Paul finished with 23 points and seven assists, while Crawford finished with 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting. John Wall seemed to be the only one on the court that was on his game, matching Paul’s 23 points and adding 11 assists. Otto Porter added a good shooting night, hitting 8 of 12 shots on the way to 21 points.

Marcin Gortat scored 12 points with 16 rebounds. Gortat was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week, leading the Wizards to a perfect 3-0 last week for his first-ever Player of the Week honor. The Polish Hammer put up 21.3 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting a blistering 59.6 percent from the field.

The Wizards were painfully outmatched on defense, allowing Paul and the Los Angeles guards to shoot at will on their way to a 53 percent shooting night. DeAndre Jordan was a force down low, finishing with 13 points and 15 rebounds. This game was basically out of reach throughout, and the Wizards did not seem to put up much of a fight, still depleted because of injuries to Bradley Beal and Gary Neal, among others.

“I think we let the start of the game in the first quarter, we let our ineffectiveness offensively affect our defense,” said coach Randy Wittman. “In the first quarter, we missed a lot of shots that have been going down and we let it suck the air out of us.”

Pierce was welcomed back to the site of a few heroics last year as a member of the Wizards and scored nine points in just 17 minutes. The Clippers did not seem to need the wily veteran’s minutes tonight because of the masterful first half they had, including a 34-point first quarter.

“I spent my one year here and I felt like I really became a part of this city,” Pierce said. “They really embraced me and I embraced them and I built some relationships. I still talk to some of the coaches and some of the coaches still talk to me. So D.C. and its fans are always going to be in my heart.”

The Clippers were able to work in their rotation while the Wizards could not get consistent play. The game ended with the reserves for L.A. and Washington playing for nothing, to the disappointment of the Washington crowd.

“We did not defend the way we were capable of,” Wittman said. “I thought in the first quarter, we were too soft defensively in our coverages instead of being the aggressor. We let Paul (Pierce) and DeAndre (Jordan) dictate what they wanted to do. We cannot do that. You have to dictate to them what they are going to do, and I do not think we did that in the first quarter.”

Washington hopes to have Beal, their leading scorer, back in the next 10 days, as they are sorely missing him in the backcourt, both offensively and defensively. The Wizards (14-15) will travel to Toronto on Wednesday to face the Raptors, while the Clippers (19-13) will travel to play the Charlotte Hornets the same night.

About Seamus Kane

Seamus Kane is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Wizards. A native of Silver Spring, MD, Seamus grew up in the area all his life rooting for the Redskins, Nationals, Wizards, Caps, and Terps. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 2014 with a degree in American History and now lives in Washington, DC. His favorite DC sports legend is Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green, and his favorite DC sports moment was Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off in the first-ever game at Nationals Park, a game which he attended. You can follow Seamus on Twitter @ShamelessKane

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  1. […] Washington Wizards four-game winning streak was snapped last Monday by the Los Angeles Clippers so they were looking for a return to form by visiting the […]

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