In the span of about two minutes, the Wizards’ unbridled elation turned to utter frustration.
One minute, Martell Webster was bouncing off the court celebrating what he thought was a game-winning basket. The next, coach Randy Wittman was speaking just above a whisper as he tried to describe his team’s 10th straight loss to start the season.
“We’re where we’re at,” Wittman told reporters after the Wizards’ heartbreaking 101-100 overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. “It’s Thanksgiving [Thursday]. We’re going to try to stay in it. It’s going to fall through here before too long.”
The Wizards were literally the touch of a finger away from earning their first victory of the season. After Atlanta’s Kyle Korver drained a 3-pointer to give the Hawks a 101-100 lead with 1.9 seconds remaining, Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin missed a hook shot with about .5 seconds remaining on the game clock.
Webster swooped in for the rebound and deftly laid in the put back just as time expired. One official on the floor ruled the basket was good. But after a brief conference, the officials decided to go to a video replay, which showed the basketball barely touching Webster’s left hand with the clock expired.
The basket was taken away from Webster and the win was taken away from the Wizards.
“They counted it and then they come back and say it’s not good, which I don’t know they determined because it’s that close,” Wittman said. “Our video shows it’s good. Obviously, there’s two different videos. What are you going to do?
For one, Wittman will give his players off to allow them to spend Thanksgiving with their families. The Wizards will return to the practice floor on Friday before facing the Charlotte Bobcats Saturday night at Verizon Center.