- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 4, 2012

Early in the third quarter, Rashard Lewis and John Wall got the ball on a two-on-one breakaway. But Lewis made a pass that sailed over Wall’s head, and an easy two points ended up as a turnover, as the ball wound up in the lap of a court-side spectator.

Moments later, another breakaway attempt resulted in both a turnover and a foul. Soon after that came technical fouls on Wizards coach Randy Wittman and Wall, followed by a chorus of boos that rained down from a Verizon Center crowd that was watching their team getting run off the court Saturday night, as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Wizards 107-81.

It was a lopsided, chippy game in which the Wizards looked utterly lost, and it left Wittman scrambling to find answers.

“We’ve got to find a way to regroup,” Wittman said.

“We’ve got to find something. Maybe I’ve got to play another veteran guy, other than Rashard [Lewis]. It’s one thing to put the young guys out there, but they also have to learn to compete at this level of competition, and to me, I didn’t think that we were ready for that.”

The Wizards have had bad losses before, but against the Clippers on Saturday, also seemed to lose their composure.

JaVale McGee argued with officials in a futile attempt to get calls, and got in foul trouble in an attempt not to get posterized by Clippers forward Blake Griffin. Griffin, in turn, had more than one of his signature dunks, including a thunderous alley-oop from Mo Williams in the third quarter that brought about “oohs and aahs” from the crowd. Wizards would-be defenders spent the night either fouling Griffin, or kept their distance. The dunk put the Wizards down 81-53, and the game for all intents and purposes, was over.

“I’m just disappointed in how we came out tonight,” Wall said. “We wasn’t prepared, and they came with a statement and just blew us out of the water. A team like that is going to try to demolish you as much as possible. It’s pitiful, man. It’s like they did whatever they wanted whenever they wanted all night.”

The Wizards shot less than 40 percent, per usual, at 37.5, and were particularly inept at both the three point line (7-for-18), and the foul line (14-for-23). The Wizards were also out-rebounded 53-32, lost the assist battle 32-17, but did manage to turn the ball over just 15 times to the Clippers 23.

Only a poor performance by the Clippers at the foul line (6-for-17), an an off night for Clipper guard Chris Paul, who scored just two points on 1-of-9 shooting, kept the Wizards loss from being far worse than 26 points.

“We know how to play hard,” Wall said. “We did for the first four games we played with coach [Wittman]. We did it.”

“It’s just the last two games [against the Raptors and Clippers] we didn’t, and that hurt us. It’s not one person, it’s everybody not doing it as a team. When you don’t do it as a team, it kind of hurts you. You seen that the last two games.”



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