Wizards drop a heartbreaker in OT
Give Randy Wittman credit for having the ability to laugh in the face of defeat.
Goodness knows he’s had plenty of practice.
Following Tuesday night’s 100-95 overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Wizards coach was asked how it has felt to lose in every possible way this season, which has started with 19 losses in 22 games.
“Do you want me to sleep tonight?” Wittman responded.
“I look up every morning to make sure the sky’s up there and it’s not falling in on me. Trust me, this has not been fun. But we’re going to continue to fight.”
Later in his post-game press conference Wittman was asked about playing Nene 24 minutes, including all but 17 seconds in overtime. Wittman has tried to limit his Brazilian big man to 20 minutes a night in an effort to minimize the persistent pain in Nene’s foot.
“I’m taking one of my best players out [of the game] two minutes into overtime,” Wittman said. “I had fans heckling me. This guy’s on a minute limit and they’re killing me, man. I had to turn around and say something to [the fan] tonight.”
At least the Wizards were in the game down the stretch.
After an embarrassing 30-point loss in Miami on Saturday night, the Wizards needed something – anything – to make them feel better about themselves and their dreadful season.
They almost found it Tuesday night.
Jordan Crawford recorded his first triple-double of the season with a season-high 27 points,11 assists and 11 rebounds, Nene added 18 points and Bradley Beal had 17, but the Wizards fell to an NBA-worst 3-19 record with their fourth overtime loss of the season in front of 15,123 fans at Verizon Center.
It was the Wizards’ third straight loss to the Hawks this season and their fifth in a row dating back to April 9, 2011.
The Wizards sent the game into overtime when Earl Barron, who replaced Chris Singleton to start the second half, hit a jumper with 23 seconds left in regulation and Nene followed by drawing an offensive foul on Atlanta guard Jeff Teague to keep the score at 90-90.
But after another Barron basket early in overtime gave the Wiz a 93-92 lead, the Hawks outscored the Wizards 8-2 the rest of the way to earn the win.
“We just have to close out games,” Beal said. “It sounds like an old record playing over and over and over, but we need to close it out. We just have to do it.”
The Wizards will look for their elusive fourth win Wednesday night when they visit the Orlando Magic.