The Washington Wizards have held a halftime lead in all three games this season, but have never led at the end.
One of two winless teams left in the NBA, the Wizards look to break into the win column Friday night against the visiting New York Knicks.
The Wizards (0-3) can draw from last season when they started 0-5 and rebounded for a 43-39 finish and a fourth consecutive playoff berth, but they need better than Wednesday’s performance at Milwaukee.
Despite a 14-point lead early in the fourth quarter, the Wizards faltered late and fell 112-104 in overtime. Washington played so poorly down the stretch that it needed Antawn Jamison’s layup with 21 seconds left to force the extra period.
The Wizards also committed a season-worst 20 turnovers, and coach Eddie Jordan is contemplating changes.
“I’m trying to be loyal to NBA vets and the continuity theme, (but) I’m growing very impatient with it,” Jordan said.
Jamison finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Caron Butler led the way with 27 points. Jamison, Butler and Nick Young are the only Washington players scoring in double figures, but the Wizards are averaging nearly 100 points per game (99.3), even with Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood sidelined with injuries.
Butler, who averaged a career-best 20.3 points last season, is on that same pace through the first three games, and he also leads the team with eight rebounds per contest. Jamison, who had 21.4 points and a career-best 10.2 rebounds last season, is a little off that pace with 19 points and seven rebounds this year.
Young’s scoring has seen a dramatic increase, going from 7.5 last season as a rookie to 15.7 this year. Butler, meanwhile has scored at least 22 points in three of his last four games against New York, and Jamison has averaged 19.5 in 23 career meetings with the Knicks.
New York (2-2) is also struggling on the defensive end, allowing 105.8 points per game, but has managed to split its four contests.
Nate Robinson had all 24 of his points in a 12-minute, 24-second span in the first half, and Zach Randolph added 25 points and 13 rebounds as the Knicks held on for a 101-98 win over visiting Charlotte on Wednesday.
“When Nate gets going like that, he can lift the entire building with his energy,” Knicks guard Jamal Crawford said on the team’s official Web site.
Robinson, though, hasn’t had quite the same success against Washington, averaging 8.5 points in 10 games.
New York was badly outplayed in its only road game this season, losing 116-87 to Philadelphia last Friday. Dating back to 2007-08, the Knicks have lost 34 of their last 42 away contests. They did, however, win their last visit to Washington, 113-100 in overtime on Feb. 19.
Randolph, the team scoring (18.0) and rebounding (10.5) leader, has averaged 13.5 points in 12 all-time games against Washington, including a team-leading 24 in the most recent meeting.
These teams have split their last 14 matchups, with the Knicks taking three of the past four.