Magic Beat Clippers, End 10-Game Skid
Los Angeles — J.J. Redick gave Orlando its first lead on a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left, Arron Afflalo tied his season high with 30 points, and the Magic beat the Los Angeles Clippers 104-101 on Saturday to snap a 10-game skid.
The loss ended the Clippers’ franchise-record 13-game, home-winning streak and provided them with a scare when All-Star guard Chris Paul went down holding his right knee with 54 seconds to go. Paul returned after a timeout and hit a 15-footer to draw his team within one with 33 seconds left.
But the Clippers turned the ball over on Jamal Crawford’s offensive foul. Josh McRoberts found Nikola Vucevic open under the basket, and Vucevic dunked to extend Orlando’s lead to 104-101 with 8 seconds left.
Wizards’ Wall Returns
Washington — A little over midway through the first quarter, John Wall stood up in front of the Washington Wizards’ bench and removed his warm-up jacket. Applause rippled around the half-full arena.
When the whistle next blew, with 4:56 to play in the quarter, the team’s franchise player walked onto the court to a standing ovation. Wall didn’t acknowledge the crowd and instead simply tied his shorts and took his place near the free-throw line.
The former No. 1 overall pick is back, making his season debut in last night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Playing his first game since being diagnosed with a stress injury to his left kneecap in September, Wall played seven minutes in the first half. He scored five points, going 1 for 3 from the field and 3 for 4 from the free-throw line. He had a pair of rebounds before leaving early in the second quarter.
Wall’s first highlight was a fast-break assist to rookie Bradley Beal, the kind of play the Wizards envisioned from a speedy Wall-Beal backcourt when they drafted Beal at No. 3 overall last June.
Wall was expected to miss about two months when his injury was announced Sept. 28. He began increasing his basketball activity last month, but it wasn’t until Wednesday that he had his first full-throttle practice with the team. After three consecutive days of pain-free workouts, Wall was given medical clearance Friday to suit up.
Wall still needs to work on his conditioning and is having his minutes carefully monitored by coach Randy Wittman.