Washington Wizards vs. Los Angeles Clippers Pick & Prediction JANUARY 31st 2024

The Los Angeles Clippers aim to bounce back from a rare misstep and avoid being tripped up in consecutive games for the first time in over a month when they visit the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

The Clippers won 22 of 26 games before dropping a 118-108 decision to the surging Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday. Two of the four losses on that scintillating run for Los Angeles came in consecutive games on Dec. 21-23.

Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points on 13-of-25 shooting from the floor Monday. His teammates, however, combined to make just 25 of 55 shots.

“We’ve just got to keep shooting with confidence because we know the shots are going to start going in,” Leonard said. “We are getting the looks we want — open looks — so we’ll keep taking them.”

Paul George scored 13 points on 3-for-11 shooting from the field as he plays through a nagging groin injury. He was 0-for-5 from 3-point range for the Clippers, who saw their five-game winning streak come to a halt and fell to 2-1 on their season-long seven-game road trip.

George did not seem to bounce back well after he and the remainder of the starters were resting on the bench during the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ convincing 115-96 victory over the Boston Celtics on Saturday.

While Los Angeles is trying to avoid consecutive losses, Washington has recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Kyle Kuzma scored 30 points in the Wizards’ 118-104 victory over the host Detroit Pistons on Saturday and had 18 points and 11 rebounds in a 118-113 triumph versus the host San Antonio Spurs on Monday.

The Wizards shot 53.5 percent from the floor and held a 45-36 edge in rebounds on Monday. They also scored 20 of the last 26 points to seal the win.

“We just made plays down the stretch,” Kuzma said. “Our sense of urgency was very crisp in that second half.”

Daniel Gafford recorded his second straight double-double after collecting 16 points and a season-high 13 rebounds.

Tyus Jones added nine assists on Monday, marking the fifth time in his last seven games that he has distributed at least that many.

The Wizards are 2-1 under Brian Keefe, who was named interim head coach on Thursday after Washington moved former bench boss Wes Unseld Jr. to a front office advisory role.

“A lot of times, when you (didn’t) play in the NBA, you’re attention to detail has to be insane. That’s (Keefe). He’s insane,” Kuzma said, per the Washington Post. “All the little things matter, and it’s rubbing off. I think you see, the loose balls we got (tonight), the rebounding, the spacing, the execution of what we’re trying to do, that’s attention to detail.”

George scored 36 points in the Clippers’ 114-107 win in Washington last season, and Leonard had 31 in a 102-93 victory in Los Angeles, also last season. Kuzma had 35 and 17, respectively, for the Wizards.

–Field Level Media

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