The headline to this game was obvious: the two No. 1 picks going head to head for the first time this year.
Griffin didn't really get the best of John Wall, but more of the Wizards' frontcourt, as they finished the first quarter with three players with a couple of fouls. Wall and Griffin, both on the scoreboard and in the individual battle, were pretty even as Wall finished with 25 points and Griffin with 26, although the rookie from Kentucky also added eight assists and seven rebounds.
The backcourt of the Clippers, though, dominated with Mo Williams, who scored 22 points, and Eric Bledsoe, who racked up a career-high 23 points in his first matchup with former college teammate Wall.
Jordan Crawford scored 16 points for the Wizards, who have lost 19-of-22 and are beginning to show frustration in their slide.
"We know it's a rebuilding process right now and there's going to be ups and downs," Wall said. "I hoped this year would be better but it's tough right now. All we can try to do is finish strong."
Los Angeles shot 23 free throws in the first quarter, compared to 21 field-goal attempts, in racking up 38 points—the most given up by the Wizards in the opening frame this season.
Griffin saved his traditional alley-oop for the second quarter, connecting with Williams on an alley-oop that drew "ooohs" from the sellout crowd midway through the period. He then followed with a rainbow fadeaway jumper to give the Clippers a 61-46 lead with 3:13 remaining and added an emphatic swat of Wall's drive on the Wizards' next shot attempt.
Wall did his best to keep Washington in the game, sprinting through Los Angeles defense to score 19 first-half points on 18 attempts as the Wizards went into the break trailing 64-55.
This game was evidence of how far the Wizards have to go to be seriously competitive in the near future. The Clippers are a step ahead due to the fact they drafted Blake Griffin, did horrible the same year and then the following year got a top 10 draft pick and traded for another mid-first round pick.
This game here showed that the Wizards may have to see the lottery balls a couple times before becoming an Eastern Conference threat.
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