Wizards effort not enough
Now the heartbreak is getting too painful to bear.
Three nights after suffering their most crushing loss of the season, the Wizards were forced to digest another gut-wrenching defeat Saturday night, keeping them oh-for-November.
This time it was a heart-stopping 108-106 double overtime setback to the visiting Charlotte Bobcats. The Wizards are now an NBA-worst 0-11 – the worst start in franchise history and seven shy of matching the worst start in NBA history.
Wasted in the defeat was another herculean effort by Nene, who finished with 19 points in his second game back after missing the nine games with pain in his right heel.
Martell Webster came off the bench to lead the Wizards with a season-high 21 points, but Byron Mullens led the Bobcats with 27 and the Wizards were left to explain another last-second defeat.
Believe it or not, it could get worse for the Wizards before it gets better. Their next five opponents -- San Antonio [10-3], Portland [6-6], New York [8-3], Miami [9-3] and Atlanta [7-4] -- have a combined record of 40-19.
The Wizards had a chance to win at the end of the first overtime when Chris Singleton was fouled by Jeffery Taylor while attempting a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining and the Wizards trailing by two.
Singleton drained the first shot, but his second rattled around the rim three times before falling out. He sank his final free throw to tie the score at 99-99 and send the game into a second overtime.
The Wizards grabbed a 102-99 lead early in the second overtime on a fadeaway jumper by Nene, but a Reggie Williams 3-pointer and free throws by Ramon Sessions and Kemba Walker sealed it for the Bobcats.
Bradley Beal made it close when he drilled a 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds remaining to draw the Wiz within one, but Walker hit one of two in the closing seconds and Jordan Crawford’s halfcourt prayer missed the mark.
To their credit the Wizards stormed back from a late eight-point deficit and twice had a chance to win on the final possession of regulation. Martell Webster went to the line with 17.1 seconds remaining and a chance to put the Wizards ahead.
After making his first free throw, Webster missed the second, but the Wizards grabbed the rebound and Crawford’s attempt at the game-winner bounced hard off the back of the rim, sending the game into overtime at 92-92.
Wizards coach Randy Wittman went back to a starting lineup of Beal, Jan Vesely, Kevin Seraphin, Crawford and Shaun Livingston.
It may not have been the quintet Wittman drew up in training camp, but all five players got on the scoresheet and received solid support from the bench as the Wizards carried a 51-50 lead into the half.
Emeka Okafor came off the bench for nine first-half points, including a three-point play off a slick behind-the-back bounce pass from Nene with 14 seconds to go in the half
The 51 first-half points the most for the Wizards this season and the lead marked just the third time all season the Wizards carried a lead into halftime.
The good vibrations of the first half vanished early in the third quarter when the Bobcats went on a 14-2 run to take a 64-53 lead. The Wizards immediately answered with their own 12-2 run that Webster finished off with a 3-pointer.
Webster finished with a team-high eight points in that third quarter as the two teams entered the fourth locked in a 72-72 tie.