Wiz lose to Bucks in Otto Porter's NBA debut
In typical fashion, on a night when the Wizards had rookie Otto Porter make his first appearance of the season, the storyline became about other players lost to injuries. Martell Webster went down to end the first quarter and Nene exited in the third.
John Wall came to the rescue of the Wizards (9-10), but their five-game winning streak at Verizon Center still came to an end as they couldn't close. This is the second time these teams played this season, and the second game that went into overtime.
Wall finished with a game-high 30 points on 9-for-23 shooting and made 12 of 13 free throws.
More important than the loss is the Wizards' health, which is now thrown into a tailspin again. Webster couldn't walk off the floor unassisted and Nene, who has complained about soreness in his right Achilles, could be out. The Wizards already are without Bradley Beal (right fibula) and Al Harrington (right knee soreness). Porter saw his first action since a right hip flexor strain Sept. 13, but that quickly got overshadowed.
Webster came down hard on his left leg as he attempted a runner to beat an expiring game clock and had to be carried off the floor. He'd combined with Wall to score 16 of their first 30 points, including two three-pointers.
But the Wizards' greatest problem was on defense. They allowed the Bucks to shoot 14 for 21 in the first quarter, or 66.7%, and had no answer for Khris Middleton who had 20 points in the first half. Middleton finished with a team- and career-high 29 points on 11-for-22 shooting.
Wall grew frustrated with a charging call that negated a 360-degree layup and then what he thought was a missed call on a transition layup that he missed and was hit with a technical foul.
After Nene buried a mid-range jump shot to cut the deficit to 42-40, the Bucks went on a 14-3 run into halftime.
The Wizards shot just 14 of 41, 34.1%, in the first half but they were able to cut the deficit to 78-74 entering the fourth as Wall and Trevor Ariza scored 21 of their team's 31 points in the third.
Wall kept making the plays down the stretch. His four free throws put the Wizards up 98-95 at 3:16. They led 102-97, but the Bucks (4-15) forced overtime on a three-pointer by Brandon Knight with 16 seconds left.
Wall had five fouls and couldn't be as aggressive and the Wizards missed all six field-goal attempts in the extra period. Their only points came on three free throws by Ariza. Knight sealed it by making 1 of 2 free throws.
Ariza had 22 points on 6-for-12 shooting, including 5 of 10 on threes, 12 rebounds four assists and four steals.
Turning point: After fighting back from a 15-point deficit, the Wizards appeared to have this one at hand with the score 102-97 with 55 seconds left. But Middleton hit a jumper and Knight's three-pointer forced the extra period. The Wizards were deflated, missing their first five attempts, the first three of which were horrible looks from Wall, Chris Singleton and Ariza.
Best in show: Wall. He led the way with a game-high 30 points, eight assists, three blocks and two steals. Without his effort on both ends, they never would've gotten back in it.
Debut: Porter entered to start the second quarter and drew the loudest applause of the night, but it came after Webster's injury. Porter logged eight minutes in the first half when he missed his first and only shot which was an airball. Before that, he was called for traveling on his first offensive possession. In 14 minutes, Porter went 0-for-3, two rebounds, one assist, one turnover and two fouls.
Bench: Singleton and Trevor Booker played their biggest minutes of the season. After hitting a three-pointer on his first shot, Singleton missed his next nine, including the potential game-winner at the buzzer in regulation. Singleton still contributed with seven points, eight rebounds -- six offensive -- and three steals in 33 minutes. Booker was 3-for-6 for nine points, nine rebounds and a block in 26 minutes. The rest of the reserves had just five points.
DNP: With Porter being activated, Kevin Seraphin (knee swelling) was inactive for the first time this season. Harrington did not dress and hasn't played since Nov. 12. Seraphin's presence was missed with the injury to Nene and Jan Vesely getting five fouls in the first 12 of the 16 minutes he played.
From the locker room: "First half we didn't play good, but second half we had a chance to win it. The last 40 seconds, we didn't execute what we were supposed to do defensively to get stops. You give them credit. We did the same thing fighting back and coming back, getting a win in their place in overtime and they did the same to us here." -- Wall
"I got a clean look, got to lace it up. They both went to O.J. (Mayo). I know I can shoot the ball." -- Knight
"It kind of did look like we were deflated from that shot that Brandon Knight made. It was a tough shot. They came out in overtime and wanted it more than us." -- Booker
"It's a little disappointing to come out and play the first half the way we played it. Again, I've got to figure out a way with these guys from a motivational standpoint. You would think we came out and played like it was a pickup game in the first half. That's where we lost the game." -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman
"I've been watching him since high school. He's from South Carolina. He played with on my brother's AAU basketball team. He's a tough player. Young and tough. ... I told them. They didn't believe me last game we played them. He definitely showed out tonight. " -- Booker on Middleton
Up next: The Wizards will practice Saturday, and possibly Sunday, before playing the Denver Nuggets at Verizon Center on Monday (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).