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Wizards losing streak extended to 11

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Wizards losing streak extended to 11

Now the heartbreak is getting too painful to bear.

Three nights after suffering their most crushing loss of the season, the Wizards were forced to digest another gut-wrenching defeat Saturday night, keeping them oh-for-November.

This time it was a heart-stopping 108-106 double overtime setback to the visiting Charlotte Bobcats. The Wizards are now an NBA-worst 0-11 – the worst start in franchise history and seven shy of matching the worst start in NBA history.

Wasted in the defeat was another herculean effort by Nene, who finished with 19 points in his second game back after missing the nine games with pain in his right heel.

Martell Webster came off the bench to lead the Wizards with a season-high 21 points, but Byron Mullens led the Bobcats with 27 and the Wizards were left to explain another last-second defeat.

Believe it or not, it could get worse for the Wizards before it gets better. Their next five opponents -- San Antonio [10-3], Portland [6-6], New York [8-3], Miami [9-3] and Atlanta [7-4] -- have a combined record of 40-19.

The Wizards had a chance to win at the end of the first overtime when Chris Singleton was fouled by Jeffery Taylor while attempting a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining and the Wizards trailing by two.

Singleton drained the first shot, but his second rattled around the rim three times before falling out. He sank his final free throw to tie the score at 99-99 and send the game into a second overtime.

The Wizards grabbed a 102-99 lead early in the second overtime on a fadeaway jumper by Nene, but a Reggie Williams 3-pointer and free throws by Ramon Sessions and Kemba Walker sealed it for the Bobcats.

Bradley Beal made it close when he drilled a 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds remaining to draw the Wiz within one, but Walker hit one of two in the closing seconds and Jordan Crawford’s halfcourt prayer missed the mark.

To their credit the Wizards stormed back from a late eight-point deficit and twice had a chance to win on the final possession of regulation. Martell Webster went to the line with 17.1 seconds remaining and a chance to put the Wizards ahead.

After making his first free throw, Webster missed the second, but the Wizards grabbed the rebound and Crawford’s attempt at the game-winner bounced hard off the back of the rim, sending the game into overtime at 92-92.

Wizards coach Randy Wittman went back to a starting lineup of Beal, Jan Vesely, Kevin Seraphin, Crawford and Shaun Livingston.

It may not have been the quintet Wittman drew up in training camp, but all five players got on the scoresheet and received solid support from the bench as the Wizards carried a 51-50 lead into the half.

Emeka Okafor came off the bench for nine first-half points, including a three-point play off a slick behind-the-back bounce pass from Nene with 14 seconds to go in the half

The 51 first-half points the most for the Wizards this season and the lead marked just the third time all season the Wizards carried a lead into halftime.

The good vibrations of the first half vanished early in the third quarter when the Bobcats went on a 14-2 run to take a 64-53 lead. The Wizards immediately answered with their own 12-2 run that Webster finished off with a 3-pointer.

Webster finished with a team-high eight points in that third quarter as the two teams entered the fourth locked in a 72-72 tie.

 

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2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 5: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 5: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

GAME 5: WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT TORONTO RAPTORS

Series: Series tied 2-2
Where: Air Canada Centre
Tip-off: 7:02 p.m. (earlier tipoff than usual)
TV: NBC Sports Washington (pregame coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Pivotal game

The Wizards have done their part in winning both games at home to even up this series at 2-2. Now comes Game 5, which could very well determine who takes this series.

Winners of Game 5 in a seven-game series tied at 2-2 hold a 164-34 (.828) record all-time. That means teams that lose Game 5 come back to win the final two games and the series only 17.2 percent of the time.

The Wizards need to get this one and they know all too well why. Last year they were in this same position in their second round series against the Boston Celtics. They went down 0-2, won the next two games but then lost Game 5 and ultimately the series in seven games.

Road warriors

The Wizards will also have to do something they have yet to do in a while in Game 5 and that is win on the road. Though they have won eight straight home postseason games, they have lost their last six on the road. It goes back to that Celtics series when Washington lost all four games in Boston. The last time they won on the road in the playoffs was Game 6 last year against the Hawks.

The Raptors are particularly tough in Toronto. They were 34-7 this season at home, tied with the Houston Rockets for the best record in the NBA. 

The recent historical odds are also in Toronto's favor. Since 2003, the home team has won each of the first four games in a seven-game series 35 times. In those series, the home team has held a Game 5 record of 22-13 and a series record of 26-9. If the Raptors get Game 5, history will be on their side to go on to win the series.

Can Otto get going?

Games 3 and 4 in Washington saw All-Star Bradley Beal break out to score 28 and 31 points. Will we see the same from Otto Porter before this series is over?

Game 4 seemed to suggest that is possible. After scoring only one point in the first half, Porter erupted for 10 points in the third quarter alone. Though he only scored 12 points in the game overall, it was the most aggressive we have seen him all series.

Porter is averaging just 10.3 points per game through four playoff games. He is shooting 50 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from three, and as long as the Wizards are winning he won't complain, but Porter can do much more than that on offense. If he starts scoring more, the Wizards will be tough to stop.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE FROM WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

WALL HAS REACHED PEAK FORM AMAZINGLY QUICK

WALL IS BOYCOTTING DRAKE'S MUSIC DURING SERIES

OUBRE IS HELPING THE WIZARDS WIN IN MANY WAYS

For more on the Wizards-Raptors series, check out or latest Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: How they can keep it rolling in Game 5

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards Tipoff podcast: How they can keep it rolling in Game 5

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes, Travis Thomas and Julie Donaldson reset the series and looked ahead to Game 5.

They were joined by TSN Sports anchor Kayla Grey to find out the Toronto perspective. The Wizards have all the momentum in this series, now they just have to keep it going.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!