“He’s so great at what he does. He can shoot, score, pass. They triple-teamed at one time. I even told him, ‘You shouldn’t even be playing should you?’ He was like, ‘No.’ That just shows how he sacrifices for his team,” said Bradley Beal, who had his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
But Beal had his own squandered opportunity late in the first overtime. He missed a wide-open three-pointer, got his own rebound, then lost the ball to Bobcats guard Kemba Walker (12 points on 3-of-17 shooting), who saved possession by throwing the ball off the shoulder of Nene as he fell out of bounds with three seconds left.
The Wizards outscored the Bobcats by 22 points in the 29 minutes Nene was on the floor, with Charlotte making its biggest runs with him on the bench. In his two games, the Wizards have outscored their opponents by 31 points with Nene in the game but lost by a combined three points.
“I lost the count. I don’t know how many games we lost. I just know one thing: a couple games we were supposed to win,” Nene said. “There’s a lot of things I can, a lot of things I can’t control. I just can control my action, my game, my focus, and I leave my best out there, that’s what I can control.”
Singleton (13 points, 12 rebounds) made a free throw to give the Wizards a 103-101 with less than two minutes remaining, but Bobcats reserve and Virginia native Reggie Williams buried a three-pointer — his only field goal of the game — and Ramon Sessions and Walker added free throws as Charlotte (7-5) matched its win total from last season in just 12 games — the fastest turnaround in NBA history. They won with starters Ben Gordon (19 points), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Taylor all fouling out.
“It’s always going to be hard to win. I didn’t know it was going to be this difficult,” Beal said. “But it’s just some adversity that we’re going through.”
When asked if there was some force working against the Wizards, Webster shook his head, arms folded with his feet planted in a bucket of ice.
“There’s no force. It’s just us. And it’s going to be just us to get us out of this,” Webster said. “There’s no excuses. There’s no excuses to make. We just have to win. It gets a little repetitive. Just got to win. Flat out.”