Best versus Worst? Clippers face Wizards

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Updated: January 19, 2013

Los Angeles Clippers teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin
were selected as starters for the Western Conference All-Star game and will
continue to prep for next month’s festivities, beginning with Saturday’s
matchup versus the Washington Wizards at Staples Center.

Paul has missed the last three games with a bruised right kneecap, but is
listed as questionable for tonight’s event. He is second on the team with 16.8
points and first with 9.7 assists. Paul said it was an honor to have Griffin
alongside him for the All-Star game.

“It’s great. It is unbelievable, especially to be a starter with one of your
teammates,” Paul said. “That doesn’t happen too often. It makes it more
exciting that you have somebody that you can experience it with.”

Griffin leads the Clippers with 17.8 ppg and had the same All-Star sentiment
as Paul, saying “it’s a lot of fun” to share the honor with a teammate.

The Clippers have won all three games Paul has missed recently and six of
seven overall, including Thursday’s 90-77 victory at Minnesota behind another
strong performance from top reserve Jamal Crawford. Crawford, a former Sixth
Man of the Year and third on L.A. with 16.7 ppg, scored 22 points and dished
out three assists. He is averaging 19.3 ppg in his last six games played.

“We needed these three wins, especially with CP3 out,” said Griffin, who
recorded 20 points. “The other guys stepped up and did a good job.”

Ronny Turiaf and Matt Barnes contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively, off
the bench for the Pacific-leading Clippers, who will try to improve on their
dominant 18-4 home record Saturday night. Los Angeles had a 13-game home
winning streak stopped Jan. 12 versus Orlando.

Washington pulled off a tremendous upset on Friday night when it marched into
Denver and escaped with a 112-108 victory. It was only the second road win of
the season for the Wizards, while the Nuggets had been tied with the San
Antonio Spurs for fewest home losses with two.

“This team was 15-2 at home, so it was really tough to come in here and win,”
said Bradley Beal, who led the Wizards with 23 points. “This is a great team
and it shows we’re capable of competing and beating anybody.”

John Wall had 14 points and 12 assists and the team is 3-1 with him since he
returned to the lineup after a knee injury.

Kevin Seraphin netted 18 points and Trevor Ariza added 14. Martell Webster and
Emeka Okafor tallied 10 points apiece.

The Clippers have won seven straight against the Wizards and Washington is 1-7
in its last eight on the road in this series.