After building a 19-point lead in the first half, the Lakers saw their advantage gradually shrink to nil. The Wizards took the lead late in the fourth, and while the Lakers competed, they ultimately finished with their ninth loss in a row.
Ellington scored a career-high 28 points in 37 minutes, on 12-of-20 shooting. Clarkson, in his third start in the NBA, scored a personal-best 18 points.
Ed Davis added 14 off the bench as the Lakers shot 42.5% from the field.
Wall was the story for the Wizards, missing a triple-double by a single rebound. He scored 21 points with 13 assists and nine rebounds.
The Wizards also took 27 free throws, making 18 (66.7%) to the Lakers' 13 of 16 (81.3%).
Kobe Bryant sat out, scheduled to have surgery to repair a torn right rotator cuff on Wednesday. Nick Young was also sidelined with an ankle sprain. Steve Nash (back) and Julius Randle (leg) are both out for the season.
Neither Tarik Black nor Ronnie Price played for the Lakers, though both were on the active roster.
Jeremy Lin led the Lakers with eight assists along with seven points. Jordan Hill scored eight points with 11 rebounds. Kris Humphries matched Hill with eight points and 11 rebounds off the bench for the Wizards.
With the loss, the Lakers fell to 12-34. They'll host the Chicago Bulls (30-17) on Thursday night. The Wizards (31-15) travel to Phoenix, to play the Suns (26-20) on Wednesday.
Lakers 76, Wizards 75 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers' lead didn't last. What was once a 19-point advantage, shrunk to zero as the Wizards scored 14-straight points over a five-minute span to tie the Lakers at 68.
John Wall scored 16 points with 13 assists and eight rebounds. Bradley Beal added 17 points, Marcin Gortat 11 points and Otto Porter 10 points for Washington.
The Lakers were led by Wayne Ellington with 24 points, two shy of his career high. Jordan Clarkson set a career best with 16 points while Ed Davis added 14 points off the bench.
The Lakers shot 46.3% from the field. Washington hit 50.9% of their field goals.
Lakers 57, Wizards 46 (halftime)
Wayne Ellington gave his best performance as a Laker, scoring 20 points in 19 minutes on eight-of-11 shooting.
Jordan Clarkson added 13 points, as the Lakers shot 50.0% from the field as a team and 45.5% from three-point range (5-11).
John Wall continued to near a triple-double with 10 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in 18 minutes, helping the Wizards trim a 19-point deficit to 11 by halftime.
Washington shot 50.0% from the field but missed six free throws (9-16) and five three-point attempts in six tries. The Wizards also turned the ball over 10 times to five Lakers' miscues.
Lakers 31, Wizards 24 (end of first quarter)
In his third NBA start, Jordan Clarkson helped the Lakers to one of their best first quarters in some time, finishing ahead of the Wizards by seven points.
Clarkson scored 11 points in 12 minutes on five-of-eight shooting. Wayne Ellington also scored 11 points, but in less than eight minutes -- hitting all four of his field goal attempts, including a four-point play.
The Lakers shot 48.0% from the field, leading by as many as nine points.
Washington was led by Otto Porter with five points. John Wall scored four with five assists and four rebounds. The Wizards shot 42.1% from the field.
The Lakers (12-33) will try to stop an eight-game losing streak on Tuesday night at Staples Center, hosting the Washington Wizards (30-15).
Nick Young's is not expected to play with a sprained ankle.
For an in-depth breakdown, check out check out Preview: Lakers vs. Wizards.