NBA: Clippers erase 35-point deficit, stun Wizards

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 26 2022 11:25 AM

LA Clippers guard Luke Kennard (5) reacts after making a three-point basket while being fouled late in the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Kennard would make the free-throw to take a one point lead with 1.9 seconds left in the game. Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
LA Clippers guard Luke Kennard (5) reacts after making a three-point basket while being fouled late in the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Kennard would make the free-throw to take a one point lead with 1.9 seconds left in the game. Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Luke Kennard converted a four-point play with 1.9 seconds to play as the visiting Los Angeles Clippers overcame a 35-point deficit to post a 116-115 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.

The result tied the second-largest comeback in NBA history, when the Sacramento Kings escaped a 35-point hole against the Chicago Bulls on Dec. 21, 2009. The record was the Utah Jazz overturning a 36-point deficit to defeat the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 27, 1996.

The Wizards held a 115-109 lead with 11.2 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter before Kennard halved the deficit with a 3-pointer.

Washington's Kyle Kuzma was whistled for a five-second inbound violation, and Kennard drained his fourth 3-pointer of the night while being fouled by Bradley Beal. 

Kennard sank the ensuing foul shot to give Los Angeles its first lead of the game and the improbable victory.

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Amir Coffey scored 29 points and Kennard finished with 25 off the bench as the Clippers improved to 2-2 on their eight-game road trip.

Beal collected 23 points and nine rebounds and Kuzma added 19 and 12, respectively, for the Wizards, who completed a 3-5 homestand with four straight losses.

Daniel Gafford, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each had 12 points and Thomas Bryant and Deni Avdija added 11 apiece for Washington.

The Wizards scored 17 of the game's first 19 points, with Los Angeles unintentionally aiding the cause by missing its first 10 shots from the floor. Gafford scored 10 points in that stretch, making four of his five shots from the floor and two free throws.

The Clippers cut the deficit to nine points at the end of the first quarter before the Wizards countered by scoring 24 of the first 26 points of the second to push their advantage to 56-25. Corey Kispert, Bryant, Rui Hachimura and Beal each made a 3-pointer during the surge.

Reggie Jackson snapped Washington's 17-0 run by sinking a mid-range jumper with 4:36 remaining in the second quarter.

Los Angeles attempted to claw back into the contest by outscoring Washington by a 40-27 margin in the third quarter. Coffey scored 13 points in the session as the Clippers trimmed the Wizards' lead to 93-76.