Clippers blow out Wizards to kick off March

Jayne Kamin-Oncea
Los Angeles snapped its two-game losing streak with a commanding,140-115, win.

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers Washington Wizards returned to their winning ways Friday when they defended their home court against the Washington Wizards. 

Despite a risky return and an unfortunate bobblehead night, LA out shot the Wizards from the field 57% to 47% from the field. 

It was a commanding victory for the Clippers. By halftime the team scored 79 points. The last time that happened was nearly a year ago to the day in 2023 against the Sacramento Kings.

Turning point: Los Angeles carried a 110-85 lead into the fourth quarter after leading by as many as 28 points in the third. Bones Hyland, Moussa Diabate, Brandon Boston Jr. and Kobe Brown all closed out the final period, sealing the Clippers’ 140-115 win.

What it means: The Clippers move to 38-20 on the season, 21-8 at Arena.

Hits: Paul George made his triumphant return as a starter for the Clippers. He jumped out the gate scoring multiple paint buckets before the first timeout. He finished the first quarter with as many paint points as his previous 4 games combined. 

George ended the night with 22 points, six rebounds and three assists across 30 minutes of play.

Misses: On his own bobblehead night, Russell Westbrook fractured his left hand in the midst of a defensive play during the second quarter, per Law Murray of The Athletic.

 “Just feel bad for Russ right now,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue told reporters. Lue added there is currently no timetable on his return and it’s not known if Westbrook needs surgery.

Westbrook has had multiple injuries to both of his hands throughout his career. While this injury does not appear season-ending, it may prevent him from seeing much, if any, game action in March.

He’s played in every game this season, and without him the Clippers may have to make a heavy rotation.

Stat of the game: James Harden led LA with a whopping 28 points in 25 minutes. Twenty one of his points came in the second quarter alone behind five made threes. He finished 3-for-9 from deep.

With his performance Friday, Harden also passed Alex English for 21st on the NBA’s All-Time Scoring list.

Up next: The Clippers have three road games scheduled ahead within the next five days. The team will kick off the action with back-to-back games against the top-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks March 3 and 4, respectively. Houston will be the last stop for LA, who will take on the Rockets Wednesday March 6.