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Bobcats focused on earning 'respect'
7-5 record equals last season's win total
 
Published Sunday, November 25, 2012 11:48 am
by The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – A season ago, the Charlotte Bobcats were the losingest team in the history of the NBA. The Washington Wizards are trying to avoid that distinction.


The Bobcats beat the Wizards 108-106 in two overtimes on Saturday night, equaling their win total from last season in just their 12th game.


In the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, Charlotte was 7-59, the lowest winning percentage in NBA history. They're already 7-5.


Washington was hoping to win its first game, but fell to 0-11.


“We were that victim, but we didn't play it,” Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said.
“We’re trying to go from the losingest organization in the history of the NBA to establishing where people have to respect us. I don't know anything about wins. I do know about respect.”


The Wizards and their fans tried desperately for their first one. One fan held up a sign that read: “All I want 4 Christmas is a win.”


Washington has 14 games between now and Dec. 25, and if it doesn't win before then, the Wizards would be 0-25 and easily set a record for the worst start in NBA history. New Jersey went 0-18 to start the 2009-10 season.


The Wizards led 103-101 with 1:27 to play in the second overtime, but Reggie Williams hit his only shot of the game - a 3-pointer to give Charlotte a 104-103 lead with 1:18 to play.


“It’s hard to win a game,” a disheartened Washington coach Randy Wittman said.


“You have to make plays down the stretch. I thought we had three great looks; they just didn't go in. A lot of things – start of the game, start of third quarter. 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.”


Byron Mullens scored 27 points, Ramon Sessions had 20 and Ben Gordon added 19 for the Bobcats.


Washington fell to 0-11 despite the spark supplied by Nene, who energized the Wizards during most of his 29 minutes, but in the end, the Bobcats pulled out the win.
Martel Webster had 21 points for Washington and Nene scored 19. It was just the second game for Nene after he missed the first nine with a foot injury.


“I don't know how many games we lost. I just know there were a couple games we were supposed to win,” Nene said.
Webster defended Nene.


“He wants to win. He’s out here battling his butt off. 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.''


Bradley Beal made a 3-pointer to draw Washington within 107-106 with 1.6 seconds to go. Kemba Walker made one of two free throws with 0.8 seconds to play, and Jordan Crawford missed a long heave at the buzzer.


The Bobcats appeared to have won the game in the first overtime, but Chris Singleton was fouled by Charlotte’s Jeff Taylor as he attempted a 3-point attempt with 0.4 seconds to play. Singleton made the first, missed the second and converted on the third for a 99-all tie.


Nene returned to the game with just over four minutes left in regulation and Washington trailing 88-83. The Wizards scored the last six points of regulation to force the first overtime.


In its first 10 games, Washington lost by an average of seven points. The only game in which the Wizards were totally uncompetitive was their 16-point loss in Charlotte on Nov. 13. Three of their 11 losses have been in overtime.


NOTES: On Sept. 28, the Wizards announced that guard John Wall would miss the first month of the regular season with a left knee injury. Wittman said that he won’t hazard a guess on Wall's return. “I don't know where we’re at. If I could give you a time, I would,” Wittman said. “I have no idea. He has not practiced at all, so until that time comes, I don’t know what the timetable’s going to be.”


... Washington forward Trevor Booker missed his second straight game with a left knee injury. ... Charlotte guard Gerald Henderson (sprained left foot) and forward Tyrus Thomas (strained left calf) will continue to be out for “the foreseeable future,” Dunlap said. ... Three Bobcats - Gordon, Taylor and F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist fouled out. ... According to STATS LLC., this was Charlotte's first double-overtime game since an Oct. 30, 2009, win over New York, and Washington's first since Mar. 23, 2011, when it lost to the Clippers in Los Angeles.

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