In a season of plenty of firsts for the Wizards, and they were on the verge of accomplishing another Wednesday night by getting their first win vs. the San Antonio Spurs in nine years. It didn't happen as they blew a five-point lead with two minutes left in regulation, came back from a seven-point deficit in the final two minutes of the first overtime period to force a second overtime only to drop back to .500.
The Wizards (24-24) haven't beaten the Spurs at Verizon Center since 2005, a 16-game losing streak, and at all since 1999.
Still, they remain in strong position to go into the All-Star break, which begins next week, with a winning record. The next two games are vs. losing teams, at home vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday and Sacramento Kings on Sunday.
The Wizards led by as many as 17 points in the first half and had a 99-95 lead until Patty Mills buried a three-pointer and Tim Duncan scored a layup on a broken play to tie the score. Both teams had several chances to score the winning bucket but failed. Mills was playing because Tony Parker, who started the game, had to sit in the second half because of lower back spasms.
John Wall led the Wizards with 29 points, nine assists and four steals. Bradley Beal, who was flattened on a screen by Duncan in the third quarter and fell hard on a foul from Mills in transition, bounced back to contribute 19 points, five rebounds and three assists. Trevor Ariza added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Duncan had a game-high 31 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals.
The Spurs (36-13) took a 111-104 lead with 2:01 left in the first overtime, but the Wizards made a run. Wall, stealing an inbound pass from Duncan with six seconds left for a layup that tied the score at 115. Wall scored 10 of his team's last 11 points. Six of the points he scored in the final 11 seconds.
Duncan fouled out in the first minute of the second overtime, but Wall missed three shots, Nene missed a shot and Danny Green drilled a corner three for a 122-117 lead that took the wind out of Washington, which appeared drained and shot 0-for-11.
Turning point: The Spurs began the third quarter with a 9-0 run in 1:34 to cut the deficit to 62-57 and would take the lead 73-72 on a jumper by Cory Joseph. The game was tight the rest of the way as Duncan scored 14 of his points in the third.
Bench boost: In the first half, the reserves made up for Nene and Gortat only combining for eight points. They contributed 18 for the Wizards with Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker and Garrett Temple leading the way. The trio finished with 22. Martell Webster, the sixth man, had 10 for 32 total points. While Webster filled in for Beal who'd reached his 35-minute limit in regulation, by playing all 10 minutes of the two extra sessions, none of the other reserves played except Temple for just 18 seconds.
From the locker room: "Against a team like that, you have to bring it with everything you've got. You've got to be on top of your game. It's a really good team with a great coach. They have an incredible system and a lot of good players coming off the bench. You have to play for 48, or in this case 58 minutes, of a great basketball game to win that." -- Gortat
"I don't think we got the shots we were looking for. I don't think we did a good job of executing our offense and playing defense late in the game like that. Fatigue should never be a factor. Wasn't an excuse for well-conditioned athletes. They just beat us. We're not going to used tired as an excuse. They just flat out beat us." -- Ariza
"We just came out lackadaisical for whatever reason. We became undisciplined in the second half and we have to fight that. Defensively, we're not a switching team and that's all we were doing. I don't know where it came from and when you're not a switching team and the guy you're switching with doesn't expect to be switching, that's where these guys came off screens wide open and we took some shortcuts. It bites you every time. You've got to stay disciplined and we didn't in the second half." -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman
Up next: The Wizards will practice Thursday and shoot around Friday at Verizon Center before playing the Cleveland Cavaliers later (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).