- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 15, 2009

LOS ANGELES | Eric Gordon matched his season high with 29 points and hit his final free throw with 11.3 seconds left, and Washington’s Earl Boykins turned the ball over moments later to seal the Los Angeles Clippers’ 97-95 victory over the Wizards on Monday night.

Chris Kaman had 11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter for the Clippers, who overcame a 17-point deficit in the second half before holding off the Wizards, who lost their fifth straight heartbreaker.

Caron Butler scored nine of his 20 points in the final 2:43 for the Wizards, including a 3-pointer with 11.8 seconds left. Gordon’s 1-for-2 effort at the line followed before Boykins, the 5-foot-5 former Clipper, lost control of his dribble in the frontcourt with about 4 seconds left.

Antawn Jamison had 32 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards, who struggled through more of the poor late-game execution that caused this skid of five losses by a total of 11 points. Gilbert Arenas had 16 points on 4-for-14 shooting and nine assists but he fouled out with 2:51 to play in another rough night for Washington’s star guard.

Baron Davis had 14 points on 2-for-14 shooting and 12 assists for the Clippers, who finished a six-game homestand with an impressive late rally in the opener of the Wizards’ four-game West Coast trip.

The Clippers trailed 64-47 in the third quarter before a 20-2 run put them ahead early in the fourth. Los Angeles then held the Wizards without a field goal for more than 4 minutes, but consecutive baskets by Butler and Jamison pulled Washington within 94-92 in the final minute.

Washington’s Nick Young had an open look at a go-ahead 3-pointer with 18 seconds left, but the former USC guard’s shot rattled in and out. Marcus Camby hit two free throws, but Butler and Gordon combined to give Washington one last chance.

Arenas’ return to his hometown didn’t fix the inconsistent star’s slump — except maybe at the free throw line. He missed crucial free throws in the final seconds of the Wizards’ last two losses, allowing Boston and Indiana to come from behind for narrow victories.

Although he went 7 for 8 from the line, Arenas missed his first five shots from the field and didn’t score until hitting a layup 2:23 before halftime. His first free throw moments later barely got to the rim, but Washington made a 13-2 run to close the half for a 44-39 lead.

The Wizards opened the third quarter with a 10-3 run and eventually took a 16-point lead, but Los Angeles responded with 13 consecutive points.

NOTES: Wizards swingman Mike Miller worked out in the Staples Center hallway with Washington’s trainers before the game. He has been out since Nov. 21 with a strained right calf, but is close to returning. … Camby, the subject of numerous trade rumors, had 11 rebounds before scoring his first point on a free throw in the third quarter. … Washington began a stretch with seven of eight games on the road.

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