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Late Nite Hoops Clippers Host Wizards

The Washington Wizards missed a chance to increase their Southeast Division lead. Now they're in danger of losing it.

Coming off one of their worst defensive games of the season, the Wizards look to hold on to their division lead when they conclude their season series with the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night.

Washington (37-30) allowed Golden State to shoot 58.3 percent from the floor in a 135-128 loss on Friday night.

Oddsmakers have made Los Angeles -4.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 205.5 total points (View NBA Sports Books). Our public betting information shows that 63% of bets for this game have been placed on Los Angeles -4.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

The Washington Wizards missed a chance to increase their Southeast Division lead. Now they're in danger of losing it.

Coming off one of their worst defensive games of the season, the Wizards look to hold on to their division lead when they conclude their season series with the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night.

Washington (37-30) allowed Golden State to shoot 58.3 percent from the floor in a 135-128 loss on Friday night. A win would have given the Wizards a 1 1/2-game lead over Miami in the Southeast, but they're only a half-game ahead of the Heat, who will play lowly Philadelphia earlier Saturday night.

Washington allowed its most points in regulation this season Friday despite outscoring the Warriors 73-64 in the first half.

"We had the momentum in the first half, and then in the third period, they took the momentum," Washington guard Gilbert Arenas said. "They stole the ball, got open shots ... getting easy baskets."

After falling to 1-2 on a five-game road trip, the Wizards will now try to sweep the season series with the Clippers for the first time since 2003-04. Arenas scored 29 of his 35 points in the first half and added a then-season-high 12 assists as Washington beat Los Angeles 116-105 on Jan. 5 in the teams' last meeting.

Arenas had 29 points and set a new season high with 13 assists to lead the Wizards on Friday. Arenas is averaging 30.0 points, 10.2 assists and 3.0 steals in his last four games.

Washington forward Antawn Jamison added 20 points against Golden State. Jamison is averaging 23.7 points and 9.6 rebounds in his last six games.

All-Star forward Caron Butler has missed four straight games with a bruised left knee but could be close to returning for the Wizards, who conclude their trip Monday night against Northwest Division-leading Utah.

Los Angeles (33-36) held on to sole possession of eighth place in the Western Conference with a 104-72 win over the Jazz on Friday night. The Clippers lead the Warriors - who are idle Saturday - by one-half game for the conference's final playoff berth.

Elton Brand had 20 points and 11 rebounds before resting most of the fourth quarter, and Los Angeles held the Jazz to their lowest point total of the season. Corey Maggette scored 19 points and Cuttino Mobley added 15 for the Clippers, who never trailed and led by as many as 35.

Chris Kaman had 14 rebounds and 10 points for Los Angeles, which has won three straight and four of five after a five-game losing streak.

"This is the right time for us to be jelling," Mobley said. "When you have Corey and myself on the wing, as well as Elton and Chris down low and younger guys that play defense, it's a pretty game."

Tim Thomas returned to the lineup for the Clippers after missing Wednesday's victory at Milwaukee because of a bruised left elbow, and had nine points in 22 minutes off the bench.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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