Trying to Stop the Freefall
Washington tries to halt its worst losing streak in more than six years when it faces a Clippers team happy to be back in sunny California to open a six-game homestand.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Los Angeles –3.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 193.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 62% of bets for this game have been placed on Washington +3.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
"You don't know how much I want to get back to 75 degrees," Corey Maggette said after Los Angeles (17-32) completed a seven-game road swing that ended Monday in Milwaukee, where the temperature never climbed above 12 degrees.
The Wizards (24-27) might not mind returning to the chilly weather in D.C. after this game ends a road trip which has included losses at Denver, Phoenix and Golden State. Their overall skid is up to eight games, their longest since Nov. 4-22, 2001. The previous season marked the last time they lost nine in a row.
Roger Mason's career-high 32 points were not enough for the injury-plagued Wizards on Monday as they blew a 23-point lead in a 120-117 loss to the Warriors.
"It stinks that it's all for nothing," Mason said. "We were desperate tonight, and we should have won. It's very tough to shake off. We played well the whole game."
Mason was making his eighth start of the season due to the absence of injured point guard Antonio Daniels, who has been starting nearly all season with Gilbert Arenas sidelined following knee surgery. While Daniels (sore ankle) hopes to return Wednesday after missing the last two games, All-Star forward Caron Butler may miss a fifth consecutive game due to a strained left hip.
The Clippers have dealt with their share of injuries, missing Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston all season, so they were somewhat pleased to go 3-4 on their road swing.
"We talked about how going back with three wins off this road trip would be a nice trip for us," Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy said after Monday's 96-89 win over the Bucks.
Only one of the Clippers' next 12 games won't be in the Staples Center - a visit to Denver on Feb. 29 following this homestand. Their next five games after that trip will be in Los Angeles, including a 'road' game against the Lakers.
The Clippers have split their last eight games - not bad for a sub-.500 team in the talent-heavy Western Conference - and rookie Al Thornton has been a key factor.
The former Florida State star has averaged 17.9 points over the last eight games. He scored a team-high 25 on Monday, shooting 12-of-20 from the field.
"Al is playing well for us," Clippers point guard Sam Cassell said. "He's getting the opportunity to play and he's showcasing what he can do. He can play. He's athletic and he's got one of the fastest first steps in the league. He's going to be special."
What hasn't been special lately is the Wizards' defense. They are allowing an average of 105.8 points during the eight-game skid while opponents have shot 51.7 percent from the field.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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