After dropping their eighth consecutive game, the Los Angeles Lakers looked to end their losing streak against the Washington Wizards Tuesday night. Already missing Kobe Bryant for the season, the Lakers were down another man as Nick Young sat out the game with an ankle sprain.
The Wizards themselves were shorthanded as well with Paul Pierce dealing with toe issues. Despite missing shoot-around earlier in the day, John Wall played Tuesday night and gave the Lakers fits.
Led by Wall, the Wizards came into the game as the Eastern Conference’s second best team at 30-15. Meanwhile, the Lakers held the West’s second worst with a 12-33 mark.
Wayne Ellington starting things off for the Lakers by hitting a floater. After allowing Otto Porter to score five quick points, the Lakers took an early 6-5 lead after Robert Sacre and Jordan Clarkson scores. Wayne Ellington converted a four-point play and made a tough layup to give the Lakers a five point lead. A Clarkson dunk brought it to eight, but Nene scored quickly on the other end. The highest the lead reached was nine after another Ellington triple. The Wizards got within five after Wall got his third points of the night off a jump shot. Clarkson responded with a three pointer on the other end. The Lakers and Clarkson’s impressive start continued until the quarter’s end which saw the Lakers on top 31-24.
The first Laker basket came from Ed Davis after Jeremy Lin found him for a jumper. Ellington continued his hot start by hitting another three pointer and finishing a breakaway dunk. The lead grew to 16 when Carlos Boozer hit a jumper. Davis was on the receiving end of an ally-oop as the score reached 44-26. A Lin three gave the Lakers a 19 point lead. After the Wizards came within 16, the Lakers forced a turnover while Ellington had another fast break finish. Ellington delivered a bad pass as Wall got the steal and got a dunk of own. The Wizards went on to cut the Lakers lead to 11. Baskets from Hill, Clarkson, and Ellington brought the lead back to 17. The quarter ended with the Wizards going on a 6-0 run as the Lakers remained on top at halftime, 57-46.
Sacre started the quarter by making a jumping hook shot and drawing a charge on Otto Porter on the other end. A transition dunk from Hill extended the Laker lead to 16, but the Wizards responded by scoring five unanswered until Ellington got another jumper. After the Wizards came within 11 again, Clarkson drove into the lane and hit a layup while drawing a foul on Marcin Gortat to bring the score to 68-54. The Wizards continued to chip away and cut the Laker lead to seven when Wall made a layup of his own. The Lakers couldn’t respond with any score as Wall found Gortat one on possession and Porter on the next to continue the Wizard run. Porter tied the game at 68 after drawing a foul on Wesley Johnson while hitting a layup. Davis ended the drought with a layup as the Lakers finished the quarter barely on top, 76-75.
After the Wizards took the lead, Johnson drew a foul on Rasual Butler to get the first Laker points and tie the game at 78. Kevin Saraphin free throws and hook shot gave the Wizards a six point lead with eight minutes remaining. Ellington found Johnson who finished a transition. Ellington then had the opportunity to tie the game but missed the three point attempt. Hill brought the Lakers within one, but Wall took over and scored on two straight jumpers. After stealing a bad pass from Nene, Ellington tied his career high of 26 points by getting a reverse layup to go in. The Wizards saw their lead go back to five when the Lakers failed to get a rebound on the defensive end and allowed Porter to get a putback. With the lead late, the Wizards took their time as Bradley Beal essentially put the game away on a jumper. The Lakers ultimately fell by a score of 98-92.
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