Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/25/12
WASHINGTON -- The Charlotte Bobcats have already matched last season's win total. The Washington Wizards are still seeking win number one after yet another painful, late game loss. Byron Mullens scored 20 of his 27 points after halftime and Reggie Williams atoned for a costly foul by drilling the go-ahead 3-pointer as the Bobcats clawed past the winless Wizards 108-106 in double overtime on Saturday night. Washington remains the only winless team in the NBA and the loss extended the franchise-record skid for season-opening losses to 11 games. Martell Webster led the Wizards with 21 points and Nene added 19 in gutty performance, his first home game this season. Six Bobcats (7-5) scored in double figures, including Ramon Sessions with 21. Ben Gordon, one of three Bobcats' to foul out, had 19. Last season Charlotte finished 7-59, setting the NBA record for season-worst winning percentage. Two of the Bobcats' victories have come over the Wizards, who have lost several close encounters this season including a one-point defeat Wednesday in Atlanta when a potential game-winning tip-in was waved off. The latest mystifying setback included near-heroic rallies, but also missed potential game-winning free throws at the end of regulation and the first overtime plus a three-point lead in the second session. "We had a number of opportunities to seal the game," said Webster, who missed the second of two free throw attempts with 17 seconds left in regulation and the game tied at 92. "All I can say to anything is we all just want to win. We were put in positions and situations where we could have taken advantage of a victory, but it didn't work out that way." Chris Singleton had 13 points and 12 rebounds and his free throw with 1:27 left put Washington up 103-101 in double overtime after the Wizards rallied to force both extra sessions. On the Bobcats' next possession, Reggie Williams connected from beyond the arc for his only basket of the game. Earlier, Williams fouled Singleton shooting a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left in the first overtime and Charlotte up two. Singleton could only make two of three, setting up Williams' redemption. Charlotte made four of six free throws inside the final 13 seconds, the last from Kemba Walker with 0.8 seconds left. Jordan Crawford's halfcourt heave came up short to secure Charlotte's win. "We're trying to go from the losingest organization in the history of the NBA to establishing where people have to respect us,” Bobcats first-year coach Mike Dunlap said. “I don't know anything about wins. I do know about respect." Several times the Bobcats appeared poised for a win only for the Wizards to fight back until they could rally no more despite the effort from their Brazilian big man. Out Washington's opening nine games with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, Nene returned Wednesday in Atlanta. As he did against the Hawks, Wizards' coach Randy Wittman had is power forward on a minutes count with 20 being the outer limit. Against Charlotte, Nene logged 29, making 8 of 13 field goals in the process. His mere presence often changed momentum, though he tired late. "He's out here battling his butt off," Webster said. "He's got some issues, but for the team, for what our vision for what our goal is, he goes out there and plays with heart, he wants to win. I tip my hat to him for going out there and playing big minutes." Down 91-83 late in regulation, Washington closed the fourth quarter on a 9-1 run to force the initial extra session. Following Nene's dunk the Wizards led 97-95 with 2:43 remaining, but Gordon drained a 3-pointer with 1:10 remaining to give Charlotte a 98-97 lead. The Wizards missed their next two attempts, including rookie Bradley Beal's 3-pointer with 7.8 seconds left. Mullens made one of two free throws with 1.6 seconds remaining. On Washington's next possession, the ball landed in the hands of Singleton who launched a 3-pointer. The shot came up short, but the referees called a foul on Williams for smacking Singleton's elbow. After splitting his first two attempts, Singleton made the third, tying the score at 99. The Wizards won all four meetings last season, but Charlotte handed Washington its largest defeat of this season, 92-76, on Nov. 13. Both teams generated lengthy scoring runs in the first quarter, starting with the Bobcats scoring 11 straight for a 25-12 lead, but the Wizards scored the final nine of the quarter. The second quarter unfolded in a back-and-forth manner, with the Wizards scoring a season-high 51 points before halftime to lead 51-50. That stretch surely seemed like a distant memory for Wittman considering all that followed, including another unreal loss. Washington’s 11 losses have been by an average of 6.5 points. "As I tell the guys and sometimes they think I'm crazy, it's hard to win a game," a dejected Wittman said. "You have to make plays down the stretch ... That lies with me. I'm not pointing a finger at my players. Obviously, it lies with me, I know it lies with me and I need to figure a way out to get this righted. That's what my job is and I'll take full responsibility for that." NOTES: This week marks two months since the Wizards announced John Wall (knee stress) would miss eight weeks. Asked for an update before the game, Wittman said, "I don't know where we're at." ... Wizards forward Trevor Booker missed his second consecutive game with a right knee strain ... Charlotte plays at Oklahoma City on Wednesday, the same night Washington hosts San Antonio.
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