Clippers 102, Wizards 84
On the day that Chauncey Billups underwent surgery in Colorado
to repair a torn left Achilles that ended his season, Randy Foye
demonstrated why the Los Angeles Clippers have the confidence to
start him at shooting guard.
Foye scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter against
his former team, leading the Clippers to a 102-84 victory over the
Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
”Foye was outstanding, and we’re going to need that from him,”
point guard Chris Paul said. ”Tonight he hit some very timely 3s
that gave us some separation. I’ve known him for years and I used
to play against him when he was in Minnesota.
”Foye was one of those guys who used to give us fits because
he’s such a good player. I think at times, he’s better than he
thinks he is. He can handle the ball, he’s big and strong and
athletic, and he can shoot it. So we just need him to keep getting
Blake Griffin had 23 points and 15 rebounds, Caron Butler added
21 points and the Clippers increased their lead in the Pacific
Division to two games over the idle Lakers with their ninth victory
in 12 contests. Paul had 16 points and nine assists.
Coming off a 96-92 loss at Dallas in which Foye 0 for 7 from the
field, the Clippers took an eight-point lead into the fourth
quarter before John Wall cut it to 75-72 on a 16-footer with 10:12
remaining. But Foye completely took during the next 3 1/2 minutes,
after missing all four shots in 26 minutes over the first three
The six-year veteran, who spent the 2009-10 season with the
Wizards before signing with the Clippers as a free agent in July
2010, started his one-man assault with a 3-pointer, then made two
free throws and hustled after an offensive rebound to set up
another 3 by Mo Williams. Foye made two more free throws and capped
his run with a 3-pointer that made it 88-76 with 6:59 to play. From
then on, it was no contest.
”Mo drove and then he found me on the left wing, and I just let
it go,” Foye said. ”I didn’t shoot too well in Dallas, and I was
upset with myself. So I got here early and took some shots trying
to get myself going. I didn’t shoot too well early on, but once I
hit a shot, I felt good.”
The Clippers have beaten the Wizards seven consecutive times –
including a double-overtime win last March at Staples Center in
which Griffin had 33 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists in a
career-high 51 1/2 minutes for his first NBA triple-double. The
Clippers’ longest winning streak against any club is 11 against
Dallas from 1992-1994.
Wall and JaVale McGee led Washington with 18 points each. The
Wizards, coming off their second straight road win after an 0-10
start, weren’t able to sustain their momentum following Tuesday
night’s 124-109 victory at Portland.
”We did a great job managing the game, running
pick(equals)-and-rolls and getting everyone involved,” Wall said.
”It’s tough to play them because they can play defense, run and
Former USC guard Nick Young missed his first nine shots and
finished 5 for 18 with 14 points after getting a season-high 35
against the Trail Blazers.
”We wanted to make him as uncomfortable as possible. That was
the plan,” Foye said. ”You can’t just let him stand out there and
take target practice.”
Young ended his field goal drought with a 3-pointer that trimmed
the Clippers’ lead to 56-55 with 7:19 left in the third quarter and
made two more from behind the arc in a 1:19 span to put Washington
back in front 60-58 with 5:57 left in the period.
”My teammates were encouraging me all night long, and I tried
to get it going in the second half,” Young said. ”It was just one
of those nights. We played hard and fought, but it was back-to-back
games, and they made a push in the fourth quarter.”
Rookie forward Jan Vesely threw down an uncontested dunk that
gave the Wizards a 62-60 edge with 5:07 left in the third. But he
returned to the bench 15 seconds later after picking up his fifth
foul, and Griffin gave the Clippers the lead for good with a
back-to-back dunks to make it 70-66. The first came after his
offensive rebound of Foye’s missed 3-pointer, the other off an
alley-oop lob by Paul with 2:47 left in the quarter.
Notes: Howard Eisley, a player development assistant with the
Clippers who sits right behind their bench during games, was fined
$15,000 by the NBA on Wednesday for verbal abuse of an official.
The incident took place at the end of the Monday’s 96-92 loss at
Dallas. ”It was kind of unexpected, but the league felt it was
warranted – and the rules are strict,” coach Vinny Del Negro said.
… Paul received a technical foul with 1:59 left in the second
quarter, the 32nd called against Clippers players and coaches this
season. They have yet to have anyone ejected from a game with two,
but Paul came close 39 seconds later after fouling Wall. … The
game featured the first overall pick in three drafts: Griffin
(2009), Wall (2010) and Kenyon Martin (2000). Martin made his home
debut with the Clippers, playing 23 minutes and getting four points
and four rebounds in his fifth game with the club after signing as
a free agent Feb. 3.