Twice the Wizards stood at the foul line with the fans on their feet and the game in their hands.
The first time was with 17.1 seconds remaining in regulation and the Wizards trailing by a point. Martell Webster made the first, but missed the second.
The second time came with four-tenths of a second left in the first overtime and the Wizards trailing by two. Chris Singleton, fouled on a 3-point attempt, went to the line to shoot three.
He made the first, missed the second and made the third to send the game into a second overtime.
“We all live for that moment,” Webster said after the Wizards absorbed their 11th straight loss to start the season, a 108-106 double-overtime defeat at the hands of the Charlotte Bobcats.
“Chris was up there. I was up there. It’s in and out, teetering on the rim and just falls out. Things happen. Everybody lives to be in that moment and everybody on this team is capable of making those free throws and winning the game for us.”
It just hasn’t happened. For the second straight game, victory was snatched from the Wizards, who are now 0-3 in overtime this season and are now the 12th team in NBA history to start a season 0-11.
Led by Singleton’s 12 rebounds, the Wizards outrebounded the Hornets 53-40 and, ironically, outperformed them at the foul line, making 32 of 39 attempts. But when the game was one the line, the Wizards couldn’t make the shot they needed, going 2-for-8 from the field in the first overtime and 2-for-9 in the second.
“This one probably hurts the most because we had the game won,” rookie Bradley Beal said after finishing 3-for-12 from the field and 3-for-9 from 3-point range, for 13 points. “I guess it’s just nerves down the stretch. We feel like we have to win and I think that’s what’s really killing us. We just need to relax and play ball.”
The road for the Wizards gets even steeper in the coming weeks. Beginning with Monday night’s home game against the San Antonio Spurs the Wizards next five components are a combined 42-19.
“I didn’t know it would be this difficult,” Beal said. “We’re 0-11 but we still have 71 more games. It’s still a long season and we still have an opportunity to get over .500.
“That’s our goal and we need to shoot for it. Just try to get in the playoffs. I mean, we’re going to make it. I have faith in this team and I think we’re more than capable of doing it.
“Everybody hates losing. You see the guys’ faces. It’s depression, because we haven’t won a game yet. But at the same time we play two days later. You have to just forget about it and just move on to the next game.”