(Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports)

One of my favorite notes from the Wizards’ win over the Bulls last night was that it was Washington’s first win in Game 1 of a playoff series in nine tries. This is a good thing.

Washington’s last win in a Game 1 came in improbable fashion on April 18, 1986. The Bullets, who entered the postseason with a 39-43 record, trailed heavily favored Philadelphia at the Spectrum by 17 points with 3 minutes 49 seconds left. Washington scored the final 18 points of the game, including the final three on a Dudley Bradley buzzer-beater, to win 95-94.

Before Atlanta’s upset of Indiana on Saturday, it was the last time a team with a sub-.500 regular season record won its playoff opener.

Via Post reporter Anthony Cotton’s game story:

How often, after all, does one see Julius Erving — a 79 percent free throw shooter on the season — miss not one, not two, but three consecutive shots from the line? That happened with three seconds to play, setting up Bradley’s heroics.

Ironically, it was the second miss that might have sealed Philadelphia’s fate. Washington’s Manute Bol grabbed the rebound but referee Jack Madden ruled the rookie center — who blocked nine shots tonight — for a lane violation, giving Erving his third attempt.

“They stepped in first and I just followed them,” Bol said. “I’m glad he missed anyway because if he didn’t, I feel bad. But he did, so I don’t feel so bad now.”


Here’s a look at Washington’s eight Game 1 losses between 1986 and Sunday night.

2008
Second Round: Cleveland 93, Washington 86 (Cleveland wins series, 4-2)

2007
First Round: Cleveland 97, Washington 82 (Cleveland wins series, 4-0)

2006
First Round: Cleveland 97, Washington 86 (Cleveland wins series, 4-2)

2005
Second Round: Miami 105, Washington 86 (Miami wins series, 4-0)
First Round: Chicago 103, Washington 94 (Washington wins series, 4-2)

1997
First Round: Chicago 98, Washington 86 (Chicago wins series, 3-0)

1988
First Round: Detroit 96, Washington 87 (Detroit wins series, 3-2)

1987
First Round: Detroit 106, Washington 92 (Detroit wins series, 3-0)

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