Former Wizard John Wall returned to D.C. as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. (Abdullah Konte/The Washington Informer)
Former Wizard John Wall returned to D.C. as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. (Abdullah Konte/The Washington Informer)

In a home game on Dec. 10, the Washington Wizards were defeated by the Los Angeles Clippers.

John Wall, a five-time All-Star with the Wizards, played his first game back at Capital One Arena in nearly four years and was greeted with a tribute and a hero’s welcome. During his time in Washington, Wall epitomized the pure point guard with his athleticism and ability to lead a transition offense. 

The Wizards utilized star forward Kyle Kuzma as the primary ball handler while Bradley Beal is hurt. The Wizards had one of their best defensive stretches of the season, punctuated by high effort on defensive rotations and outrebounding the Clippers by eight. Jordan Goodwin, a point guard who has stepped up amid injuries, continued his strong defensive streak. Goodwin continually played hands-up defense and his energy led to a career-high six steals and multiple rushed shots by the Clippers. 

On back-to-back possessions in the second half, Porzingis blocked a John Wall three-point attempt and Goodwin stole the ball from Wall at the half-court, leading to a transition Kuzma three-pointer. 

Kuzma had 25 points at the half and was five-for-five from the three-point range, a strong performance amid rumors that the Wizards plan to trade him for a first-round draft pick. Porzingis posted a double-double before the end of the third quarter, continuing a 43-game streak of double-digit scoring dating back to his trade to the Wizards. Bradley Beal, Monte Morris, Delon Wright, Rui Hachimura, Will Barton, and Johnny Davis did not play due to injury. 

Kawhi Leonard, who has faced injury challenges over the past several seasons, started at power forward and had a slow-scoring game with 13 points. Paul George was the leading scorer for the Clippers with 36 points in 41 minutes. 

The game ended 114-107, following a missed Porzingis three-point attempt and free throws for the Clippers.

This loss leaves the Wizards with an 11-16 record, including nine losses in their past 10 games. 

Fans reflected on Wall and his time with the Wizards:

WI: What is your best memory of John Wall as a Washington Wizard?

A: “Hands down, the 2016-2017 John Wall that forced a Game 7 with a dagger shot against the Boston Celtics.”

  •  Chris, Camp Springs

A. “His iconic welcoming Dougie or when he had his career-high 47 points versus Memphis Grizzlies in 2013. Also, his annual backpack giveaways.”

  • Chelsea, Glenarden

WI: Who is a young player in the NBA who you’d compare to John Wall?

A: “De’Aaron Fox is John Wall with a jump shot.”

  • Marcellus, Lanham

WI: How did it feel to attend your first Wizards game?

A: “Good! Better than I thought it would be. Because the Wizards advertise themselves as a small market team, and that’s not the case.”

  • Marcellus, Lanham

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