LOS ANGELES – The Washington Wizards inspired the Los Angeles Clippers crowd Sunday night. But no, you know, in a good way.
Towards the end of the third quarter, the Clippers were rolling the Wizards, whose idea of a tougher defense dissipated as soon as they crossed the floor of the Staples Center. And with the Clippers comfortably in the lead, their fans launched a "We Want Boban!" Serenade.
While the call of the 7-foot-3 center Boban Marjanovic wore around the arena, it became clear that it did not matter who was on the ground against the Wizards, who had suffered their game tasteless during a defeat of 136-104.
Washington opened the season with five defeats in six games, including three on the West Conference road trip. There are several reasons for the gloomy beginning – Sunday, for example, the offensive was splashed and the Wizards continued shooting as if there was an electrical barrier around the three-point arc – the defense of the team could be the main responsible.
Los Angeles (4-3) shot 54.5% of the field. When the wizards played in their small ball unit, they left the shooters open beyond the three-point arc. Poor communication and a broken transition defense led to the Wizards' second loss in the last three games.
The Clippers, meanwhile, were strong inside, registering nine blocks. The witches' guard John Wall was a popular target. he was stuffed four times at the edge. Wall, who did not play in the fourth quarter, finished with 18 points on a 8-on-20 shot. Bradley Beal joined him on the bench for the last 12 minutes. he scored 20 out of 8 shots at 16 but recorded a score of minus-19.
As a team, the Wizards missed 22 of their 27 bow attempts and shot 39.2% of the field. Los Angeles finished with 35 assists and shot 55.2% against three (16 versus 29).
The Marcin Gortat Center has faced off against former teammates for the first time since the June exchange that sent Austin Rivers to the Wizards. Gortat, who spent five seasons in Washington, was a vital part of the starting lineup and played in every game of the past two years.
Gortat recorded 20 minutes, finishing with four points and eight rebounds.
"Mars was good. I have been there for two years. He gave us a constant effort. He gave us consistency, "Saturday's wizard coach Scott Brooks said. "The Polish machine, and it's a good name for him because he's practiced every day. He played every game. He was good. We wish him nothing but the best. He's part of a good team right now.
Gortat does not play big minutes because the Clippers are deep. The second unit includes a creative points guard to Milos Teodosic, the great sportsman Montrezl Harrell, as well as the sixth man of the year 2017, Lou Williams, and forward Mike Scott, who played the 39, last year in Washington and sent the pre-game moments capture with former teammates.
Against the Houston Rockets on Friday, the Los Angeles bench set a franchise record with 85 points. Sunday, the group remained unstoppable, especially against the defense of the Wizards.
In the first quarter, the Wizards were only one or two compartments of the draw. But the Clippers' second unit made sure that did not happen. Harrell scored at the edge while being the victim of a foul. Scott hit three points, as he had done a year ago for the Wizards. And before the expiry of the three minutes of the second quarter, the Clippers had built an advance of 18 points.
The Wizards barely pretended to defend themselves in the first half, giving nine points to three points and leaving 36 points in the paint. The Clippers led 69-54 and maintained a double digit lead the rest of the game.
Oh, the serenade. Just 10 seconds into the fourth quarter, the fans realized their wish. Marjanovic entered the match and, after the explosion, the Wizards also began emptying their bench.