Just when the Washington Wizards were starting to slip a little, All-Star point guard John Wall returned to help them back into the win column. The Wizards will try to put together back-to-back wins with Wall in the lineup when they host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.
Wall watched Washington go 4-5 in nine games while he sat nursing a knee injury, including a 113-112 loss at the Clippers on Sunday, but he played 28 minutes and scored 13 points in a 93-87 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. “If I‘m going to be out here thinking about it, then I don’t need to be out there playing,” Wall told reporters. “Because I‘m limiting what I can do, and thinking about that too much is hurting my teammates. So, I just go out there and play basketball and try not to think about it at all.” The Clippers know what it’s like to deal with injuries and were just hit with another when guard Austin Rivers was diagnosed with a concussion. Los Angeles is already without starters Patrick Beverley (knee), Blake Griffin (knee) and Danilo Gallinari (hip).
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), NBCS Washington
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (11-15): Los Angeles dropped four in a row after watching Griffin go down but has since won three straight, including a 106-95 triumph at Orlando on Wednesday that kicked off a four-game road trip. The Clippers are searching for production wherever they can find it and got it off the bench on Wednesday from veteran guard Lou Williams, who poured in 31 points on 11-of-22 shooting while adding eight assists in 33 minutes. Williams is a candidate to slide into the latest open spot in the starting lineup while Rivers makes his way through a concussion protocol.
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (15-13): Washington shooting guard Bradley Beal averaged 23.8 points - right at his season mark - with Wall sidelined but was beginning to struggle with his shot as defenses swarmed him and went 19-of-54 from the floor in back-to-back losses prior to Wednesday. The pressure came off a bit with Wall back in the lineup and Beal knocked down 3-of-5 from 3-point range en route to 18 points in the win over Memphis. The Wizards are still not at 100 percent as starting power forward Markieff Morris was forced to sit out Wednesday and is day-to-day with a right hip injury.
1. Clippers PG Milos Teodosic is 6-of-21 from the floor in two games since returning from a plantar fasciitis injury that cost him 22 games.
2. Wizards C Marcin Gortat scored 12 points on Wednesday, snapping a string of five straight games in single digits.
3. Williams totaled 35 points and buried the game-winning 3-pointer in Los Angeles’ 113-112 victory over Washington on Saturday.
PREDICTION: Wizards 110, Clippers 102