The Washington Wizards have one last chance to avoid a winless March. A trip to New Orleans likely won’t make matters any easier.
Mired in the longest losing streak in franchise history, the Wizards look to avoid a 17th straight defeat and a fourth in a row to the Hornets on Wednesday night.
During a season filled with disappointment on and off the court, it would seem things couldn’t get much worse for Washington (21-52). That’s not the case as the Wizards try again for their first victory since winning 89-85 at New Jersey - the only team worse than them in the Eastern Conference - on Feb. 28.
Going an entire month without a victory would just add to the misery.
However, Washington is not the only team trying to avoid going winless this month. Minnesota also has lost 16 in a row and takes an 0-13 record in March into Wednesday’s game with Sacramento. Neither team would be the first to go winless in a month this season after the Nets went 0-14 in November.
Washington came close to ending its skid Tuesday but fell 98-94 at Houston. Rookie Chase Budinger(notes) hit a go-ahead jump shot with 28 seconds remaining and made two free throws to secure the win for the Rockets while adding to the Wizards’ frustration.
“We were right there but couldn’t get the job done,” said Wizards coach Flip Saunders, whose team is averaging 87.5 points and shooting 42.8 percent during the skid. “We’ve been in games like that all season and that’s what’s very frustrating.”
Blatche has been one of the few bright spots of late, averaging 22.3 points in 23 games since becoming a full-time starter.
With stars Gilbert Arenas(notes) (suspension) and Josh Howard(notes) (knee injury) done for the season, Washington learned earlier Tuesday that guard Randy Foye(notes) could miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury.
The Wizards could miss Foye after he had 23 points and eight assists in a 115-110 home loss to New Orleans (35-40) on Jan. 10.
Chris Paul(notes) had 26 points and 14 assists in that contest, and he posted 15 points with 13 assists in 39 minutes of the Hornets’ 108-100 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday. It was Paul’s most productive outing in four games since returning from a 25-game absence due to a left meniscus tear.
“I knew going into the game I was going to get to play a little bit more,” Paul said. “I didn’t have to be worried about being over my minutes and stuff like that, so I was getting a little bit more comfortable.”
Paul has averaged 21.7 points and 11.2 assists in his last six games versus the Wizards.
Set to miss the playoffs for the first time in three seasons, New Orleans has won five times in 19 games and is looking for its first back-to-back wins since Feb. 19-21.