In their first three games – all losses – the Wizards have had someone come off the bench to ignite a run.
In their season-opening loss to the Cavaliers it was Jordan Crawford scoring a team-high 11 points. In their home opener against the Celtics it was Crawford [21 points] and Kevin Seraphin [19 points] leading a charger off the bench.
And in Wednesday night’s 100-94 overtime loss to the Celtics it was Chris Singleton coming up big in the fourth quarter to force the game into overtime.
“We had guys come off the bench again that gave us a spark,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
Singleton played just 18 seconds in Saturday night’s loss to the Celtics, but when Wittman tapped his shoulder in Boston Wednesday night the second-year forward responded with 14 points – 12 of them in the final quarter.
He finished the night shooting 6-for-10 from the floor with five rebounds and three steals in 25 minutes. His 14 points were two short of his career high set as a rookie last season.
Singleton drained a pair of free throws to tie the score at 86-86 with 33.1 seconds left. Then, after Rajon Rondo hit a jumper to give the Celtics a two-point lead, Singleton tied it at 88-88 with a thunderous dunk with 9.4 seconds to play.
Singleton showed incredible poise on the play, waiting for Rondo to jump past him. When Brandon Bass darted toward a wide-open Bradley Beal in the far corner, Singleton alertly streaked down the lane for the stuff that sent the game into overtime.
But as was the case in the Wizards’ three-point loss to the Celts on Saturday night, mistakes down the stretch cost them a victory.
With the Wizards trailing 95-92 in the closing minute of overtime, Singleton had an attempt blocked by Kevin Garnett, who dished to Rondo, who found Bass streaking down the lane for a game-clinching dunk.
“We’ve got to learn how to play down the stretch of games,” Wittman said. “A lot of these guys have never been in a position like this before. It’s a learning process of taking care of the ball, executing, making a play down the stretch. It’s disappointing because we lost, but there were a lot of good things.”
The Wizards will look for their first win of the season Friday night at Verizon Center when the Milwaukee Bucks [2-1] make their first visit to D.C.