Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

February 5, 2013

Without Griffin, Clippers fall 98-90 to Wizards

NBA Roundup

 

WASHINGTON — The Los Angeles Clippers were missing Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. The Washington Wizards won the game.

Tread carefully around Randy Wittman when trying to connect those two thoughts.

"Hey, listen, we played enough games this year without players," the Wizards coach said. "Don't give me the (bull) about who was here and who wasn't here. ... You guys would have printed it a wholly different other way if we had lost. ... Now you're going to print, 'Ah, you won because Blake didn't play.' Give me a break."

To be fair, the outburst was more playful than angry, but the point is well-taken. The Wizards will happily take Monday night's 98-90 win — or any victory for that matter — in a season that was essentially wrecked from the get-go in part because of injuries to John Wall and Nene.

Now it's the Clippers who are close to falling off the rails, having lost seven of nine — including six of eight without Paul. Los Angeles is 1-3 halfway through an eight-game road trip and has fallen 4½ games off the Western Conference lead.

"It's frustrating because we're giving back a lot of what we had built up earlier in the season," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "But you can't control the injuries, you can't control the schedule, you can't control so many guys being out."

Paul missed his eighth consecutive game and 11th of the last 13 with a bruised right kneecap, while Griffin's streak of 197 consecutive games played ended when he was a last-minute scratch with a strained left hamstring.

"We were walking out (to the court) and he was walking in," Del Negro said.

Del Negro said he knew the hamstring had been bothering Griffin, who leads the Clippers in scoring and rebounding with 18.5 points and 8.6 boards per game. The coach declined to speculate when Griffin would return. The road trip continues against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.

"We'll see how he feels tomorrow," Del Negro said.

Griffin had started every game since he essentially became an NBA player at the start of the 2010 season, having sat out in 2009-10 with a knee injury after he was drafted No. 1 overall by the Clippers.

Nevertheless, his teammates were in the game until a spate of turnovers and a pair of offensive rebounds by Wizards forward Nene spurred a 7-0 run by Washington late in the fourth quarter.

"When you're a championship-level team, you have high expectations," said Jamal Crawford, who scored 28 points to lead the Clippers. "And we do, no matter who's in and who's out. Obviously we're missing some of our better players, but no excuse."

Martell Webster scored 21 points, Nene and Garrett Temple had 15 points apiece, Emeka Okafor grabbed 14 rebounds, and Wall had 13 points and eight assists for the Wizards, who broke a four-game losing streak and moved a game ahead of the league-worst Charlotte Bobcats.

DeAndre Jordan had a career-high 22 rebounds for the Clippers. Eric Bledsoe, going toe-to-toe with Wall in a duel between former Kentucky teammates, had 17 points and nine assists.

The game turned when Nene grabbed a high-bouncing rebound off of his own missed free throw to set up a 3-pointer by Trevor Ariza, then corralled another offensive board on the next possession and fed Temple for a jump shot that gave the Wizards an 87-79 lead with 3:53 remaining.

Still, the finish was too close for comfort for Wittman, especially after the Wizards had scored 51 points in the first half.

"It wasn't all artistic for us," Wittman said. "We still had ups and downs from an offensive standpoint. ... We seem to forget how we scored the 51. If my forehead's red, (it's from) banging the wall."

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Angels Orioles Baseba_Land.jpg Orioles fall to Angels in 13 innings, 1-0

    Albert Pujols put Los Angeles in front with an RBI single, and the Angels held on for a 1-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles that averted a three-game sweep.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Post 13 eliminated, 5-4 Post 13 eliminated, 5-4

    Funkstown Post 211 used a three-run first inning and a pair of single-run innings, and limited the damage on Fort Cumberland Post 13’s 11 hits to notch a 5-4 victory to advance and eliminate the tournament host Thursday in the third round of the Maryland American Legion State Baseball Tournament at Hamilton Field.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hold on a minute ... we know these guys

    Tom Bosley says this isn’t the Garrett County revival of “Space Cowboys”. They’re just getting the band back together — Bosley, Don Stemple, Oren Yoder and Matt Redinger. They’ve been there, done that, and they’re ready, willing and able to be there and do it again.

    July 31, 2014

  • Pee Wee football openings exist

    The following teams of the Tri-State Pee Wee Football League have openings for players, ages 6 and not yet 12: Cumberland Cardinals, contact Norm Spencer, 301-697-0420; Cumberland Raiders, contact Chad Hamilton, 240-362-1800; Cresaptown Eagles, contact Dave Freeman, 240-727-0302; LaVale Lions, contact Ken Ward, 301-616-4773, and Ridgeley Hawks, contact Grant Shoemaker, 301-697-7657.
    Players interested in playing for the Cardinals should report to Bowers Field Monday, Aug. 4, 6 p.m.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sports Calendar - 08/01/2014

    July 31, 2014

  • Manziel battling playbook, Hoyer in first NFL camp Manziel battling playbook, Hoyer in first NFL camp

    Johnny Manziel has quickly learned his college days — on the field anyway — are over.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Tennis star Wozniacki to run NYC Marathon Tennis star Wozniacki to run NYC Marathon

    Caroline Wozniacki always feels confident she can outrun her opponent on the tennis court.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ridgeley, Lakeview advance to finals

    POTOMAC PARK — Blake Rhodes doubled and singled twice while Wyatt Yates and Caleb Hare singled three times to power Ridgeley to a 14-4 victory over the Cumberland Kiwanis for a sweep of the Hot Stove League’s National League Championship Series Wednesday at Hamilton Field.

    July 31, 2014

  • Laurel’s Jake Snyder Laurel tops defending champs

    POTOMAC PARK — Falan Garner had three hits and chased home a pair of runs and Laurel held of a furious ninth-inning rally by Funkstown to beat the defending state champs 9-8 Wednesday afternoon at the Maryland American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Memorial Field.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Sports Calendar - 07/31

    July 31, 2014