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Wizards loss to Clippers Tuesday one of the worst beats in NBA history

Washington became the first team to lose a game while leading by seven or more points with 20 seconds left in 20 years.

Los Angeles Clippers v Washington Wizards
Terance Mann and Luke Kennard of the LA Clippers celebrate after a 116-115 victory against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on January 25, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The Washington Wizards appeared to secure a win for those who backed them quite early Tuesday, with a 30-point halftime lead over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Wizards held a 35-point lead at one point in the contest and were comfortably covering the spread and moneyline despite giving up 40 points in the third quarter. In terms of bad beats, this might be the worst beat in NBA history.

Washington held a 114-107 lead with 20 seconds to play. According to the Action Network, teams in this situation in NBA games were 16,239-0 entering Tuesday’s contest. Yes, you read that correctly. 16,239-0. A missed Kyle Kuzma free throw, two Luke Kennard triples and an incredible poor defensive foul later, that mark is no longer perfect.

The Clippers scored nine points in the final 20 seconds as part of a 80-point second half to overcome the Wizards 116-115. You can imagine how many Wizards spread and moneyline bettors were fuming over the late collapse, in addition to those who had Washington in parlays with other games. Los Angeles covered the 5-point spread per DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total going over thanks in part to the second half comeback.

To top all this off, the Clippers did this without Paul George or Kawhi Leonard on the floor. For a Wizards team looking to secure Bradley Beal’s commitment to the team on a long-term deal, this could be a franchise-defining loss.