But the Wizards could never stay composed and suffered the same fate as they had in their previous 10 games.
After an excruciating, 108-106 double-overtime loss to the Bobcats on Saturday at Verizon Center, the Wizards are a franchise-worst 0-11 and have to wonder when they will finally experience the other side.
“As I tell the guys and they think sometimes I’m crazy, it’s hard to win a game,” Coach Randy Wittman said after his team went beyond regulation to lose for the second game in a row.
But unlike their disappointing loss three days before in Atlanta, when they ran off the floor thinking they had won before referees determined Martell Webster had released his shot after time expired, the Wizards couldn’t blame the loss on bad timing or a bad break. They had an opportunity to win in regulation, but Webster, who scored a team-high 21 points, missed a free throw with the game tied at 92 and Jordan Crawford looked off Nene to take an off-balance jumper as time expired.
In overtime, the Wizards trailed 99-97 when they squandered what amounted to a gift-wrapped win when Bobcats forward Byron Mullens (26 points) missed a free throw with 1.6 seconds left and guard Jeffery Taylor fouled Singleton as he attempted a potential game-winning three-pointer.
Singleton made the first free throw and missed the second. John Wall couldn’t find the strength to watch as he pressed his head against Kevin Seraphin’s back while standing on the sideline. Singleton made the third free throw to force the second overtime period but flashed an uncomfortable grin, because it wasn’t enough.
“We had a number of opportunities to seal the game,” Webster said. “All I can say to anything is, we all just want to win. We all just want to win.”
The Wizards have lost their 11 games by a combined 72 points, which makes the influence of Nene even more staggering. In his second game — and first at home — he scored 19 points, ignored his 20-minute playing-time limit and pushed himself to exhaustion in an effort to finally end the skid.
The 6-foot-11 Brazilian, dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, created opportunities for his teammates by drawing double teams and making underhand and over-the-head passes for layups. He even led a two-on-one fast break, dropping a no-look, behind-the-back pass to Emeka Okafor (11 points) for a dunk in the first quarter.