After Bradley Beal went 1-of-2 from the free-throw line to put the Wizards up two with 6.8 seconds left in a 102-100 win in Orlando, a crushing flashback immediately came to mind.
"It was damn deja vu that's what it was," Beal said postgame.
Eight days prior, Beal was the one contesting the now viral DeMar DeRozan 3-point buzzer beater that gave the Bulls a 120-119 win on New Year's Day. Four days later, Kevin Porter Jr. sunk another buzzer-beating shot from deep to sink the Wizards.
It was only natural for those fears to fester.
Beal likely wasn't the only one with those thoughts in the frantic moments following his second shot from the charity stripe. Orlando forward Chuma Okeke ignored Cole Anthony and inbounded it to Franz Wagner. The rookie desperately drove it up the court past Spencer Dinwiddie, towards the corner where Beal was defending.
Thankfully for Wizards fans, the outcome differed from that heartbreaker in the nation's capital against Chicago. Gary Harris couldn't break Washington's hearts a third time.
"I wasn't going to let that (expletive) happen twice," Beal said.
The Wizards' star shooting guard, who finished with 20 points on 7-of-22 shooting in 37 minutes, made up for his first missed free throw with the clutch block. After seeing plenty of replays of DeRozan's incredible shot over him, Beal made sure not to concede a third game-winning buzzer-beater in their last five games.
"We've been getting GameTime'd the last week and a half. They had a foul too, so by any means," Beal said. "I refused to let that shot go down, especially after I missed the damn free throw."