Clippers match Wizards’ resolve, ride depth to win – Daily News

LOS ANGELES — The Washington Wizards’ resolve is plenty apparent. The Clippers’, it turns out, is sturdy, too.

A woeful 3-12 not so long ago, the Wizards came into Tuesday’s game having won five consecutive games and pulled within six games of .500.

For their latest victory Monday, they’d rallied from a 17-point third-quarter deficit at Staples Center against the Lakers.

Returning to the scene of the comeback on Tuesday night, the Wizards tried to conjure similar magic against the Clippers, chopping their 24-point second-quarter advantage to five points entering the fourth quarter.

L.A. – so hot in the first half, when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined to shoot 16 for 22 for 41 points between them – cooled after the break.

The Clippers shot a respectable 10 for 22 in the third period, but Washington went 15 for 20 – with Moe Wagner leading the charge: The former Laker went 5 for 7 for 13 of his team’s 39 points in the frame.

But, as the Clippers’ All-Stars set the tone to start, their young teammates helped bring home the win.

Ivica Zubac – the Clippers’ 23-year-old recent center – sent a surge through Staples Center with a grown-man, serious slam dunk that extended what had been a withering lead to 113-102 with 7:52 to play.

Sandwiched around that play were an array of grown-Mann highlights.

Terance Mann, shirt untucked, launched the Clippers on a trajectory to victory, scoring his side’s first seven points in the fourth quarter.

The 24-year-old former Florida State standout also fought on defense and for rebounds and flung a pass to an open Reggie Jackson for a 3-pointer that pushed the margin back to 116-102. He fouled out with 1:03 left, having contributed 12 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 20 effort-filled minutes.

That helped energize and elevate the hosts when they needed the boost most, as the Clippers closed out a challenging homestand 4-2.

Leonard led L.A. with 32 points on 13-for-20 shooting, and on the day he learned he was an All-Star for the seventh time, Paul George had 30 points – 25 coming in the opening half.

Zubac finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Reggie Jackson had 17 points and Marcus Morris Sr. added 11.

For Washington, Bradley Beal, the NBA’s leading scorer, entered Tuesday’s game averaging 32.9 points per game. He finished with 28 (and 10 assists) on 12-of-24 shooting.

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