John Wall catches fire in the clutch as surging Wizards fend off Lakers rally from 19 points down
John Wall scored 16 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help the Wizards hold off the Lakers. AP

JOHN Wall capped a huge double-double effort with clutch heroics as the Washington Wizards kept their win streak going at home after fending off a furious rally from 19 points down by the Los Angeles Lakers to come out on top, 116-106, at the Verizon Center on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).

Wall scored 16 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 11 assists and three steals as the Wizards won their sixth straight game, their 16th consecutive victory in Washington, the hard way against a gritty Lakers squad.

The Lakers got off to 12-1 fourth quarter start to erase a 19-point deficit to tie the game at 91 with over eight minutes to play. But Wall scored eight straight points for the Wizards and Marcin Gortat capped a 10-2 counter with a slam to regain control, 101-93, midway through the period.

Jordan Clarkson got the Lakers within three with less than two minutes left but Wall continued his fourth quarter takeover with a steal and a jumper to put Washington up 110-105 with 1:02 remaining. After Tarik Black split a pair at the stripe, Wall again came up with a clutch jumper to extend the lead to six.

D’Angelo Russell and Lou Williams missed on back-to-back three-point attempts and Wall sealed the win after hitting crucial free throws down the stretch.

Bradley Beal started off hot with 19 of his 23 points in the first half, but got into foul trouble in the third quarter that disrupted his rhythm. Gortat scored 11 of his 21 in the third while the rest of the Wizards (29-20) starters also ended up in double figures.

Clarkson led the Lakers (17-35) with 20 points. D’Angelo Russell and Luol Deng scored 17 apiece, and Lou Williams added 15 off the bench.

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