In what could be an exercise in futility, the winless Washington Wizards shoot for success Tuesday against the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Bobcats know about losing all too well after finishing with the worst winning percentage in NBA history a season ago, but now it's the Wizards who have taken over the fruitless label.
Off to an 0-5 start, the Wizards, who lost their first eight games last season, will resume a three-game road trip and suffered an 89-85 setback at Indiana on Saturday. Rookie Bradley Beal and Emeka Okafor both scored 17 points, while former Pacer A.J. Price ended with 12 points and a career-high 14 assists.
"We're making good strides as a team. We're in every game, which I guess is like a gift and a curse," Price said. "You'd like to win some games. We're in every game, so it is just little things that we need to correct."
Washington did have a 72-70 lead heading into the fourth quarter and made it a five-point advantage on a Jordan Crawford 3-pointer. Indiana took over from there and held on for its seventh straight win in the series.
The Wizards are 0-3 away from D.C. this season and will close out the road swing Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks. They have to like what they see from Beal, who is averaging 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists, while shooting .475 from the field in his last three games. He has led or tied for the team lead in scoring in those games.
Price has averages of 13.0 points, 10.0 assists and 4.7 rebounds over his past three games. Price will face former UConn teammate and current Bobcats guard Kemba Walker tonight.
Charlotte is in the midst of playing two straight and six of seven games at home, and ended a three-game losing streak with Saturday's improbable 101-97 overtime win versus the Mavericks.
Walker led the charge with 26 points, six rebounds, seven assists and eight steals, helping Charlotte to its first-ever win over the Mavs (1-16). The Bobcats reached the 100-point mark for the first time in this series. Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had career highs of 25 points and 12 boards, Ramon Sessions had 12 points off the bench and Ben Gordon netted 11 in the win.
The Bobcats were down by a 59-44 score early in the third quarter and overcame a four-point deficit with under 30 seconds to play in regulation, closing the period on a 15-7 burst. Byron Mullens scored seven points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and his basket with 3:18 to go in overtime put Charlotte ahead.
"If things aren't going good for us the first, second or third quarter, that fourth quarter, that's really when we have to step in and contribute in our veteran ways," Sessions said.
Sessions (15.0) is one of six Bobcats averaging more than 10 points this season. Walker (18.8 points), Gordon (14.6), Kidd-Gilchrist (12.2), Mullens (11.6) and Gerald Henderson (12.5) are the others. Walker and Sessions have scored in double figures in all five games this season.
Tuesday's game will feature a pair of highly-touted rookies, with Kidd- Gilchrist facing off against Beal, who was taken right after MKG with the third overall pick.
Charlotte lost all four meetings against Washington a season ago and is winless in the previous five matchups between the two teams. The Wizards are unbeaten in their last three games as the guest in this series.