Washington Wizards fans have been waiting for their franchise’s best shot in years.
So far, it has come to pass, as the team took a three-game road trip to face the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.
The Wizards won 99-91 in overtime, and they got an early Christmas gift: a win over the Charlotte Bobcats, a team that hasn’t won since Nov. 15.
“This is what we’ve been waiting to get our hands on,” said point guard Brandon Jennings, who had 27 points and 10 assists.
“You just gotta keep trying to get it.”
The win moved the Wizards within a game of the fourth-place Atlanta Hawks, who beat the Los Angeles Clippers 99-96 on Friday.
The Hawks have won six of their last eight games.
But Atlanta’s defense has been a big part of the Hawks’ success.
The Hornets have allowed an average of 106.0 points in their last seven games, including a 102.7 mark on the road.
The Bobcats have allowed 102.1 points in the same stretch.
The game was delayed twice because of a fire in the building.
The last time was Dec. 5.
The first was delayed when a fire damaged the arena.
The second was due to a fire at the arena the previous night.
Both were extinguished by firefighters.
The team had a 3-2 lead in the second quarter before a buzzer sounded.
But the Bobcats responded with a 13-2 run to take a 71-65 lead.
That helped them extend their lead to 74-53 with 4:43 left in the fourth quarter.
The two teams then tied at 74 with 3:48 left in overtime.
The Clippers answered with a 7-1 run to close the fourth.
But Washington answered with four straight points by Jennings and grabbed the lead back at 82-80 with just under five minutes to go.
The Nets hit 6 of 9 from the floor, including 6 of 7 from 3-point range.
Washington’s last lead of the game came with 2:45 left.
The next time the teams played, the Wizards were up by 17.
Jennings and guard Marcus Thornton hit back-to-back 3s to make it 94-89 with 11:40 left.
Washington got a big boost when Jennings scored 16 points with 8:31 to go in the third.
The victory kept Washington within two games of the Atlanta Hawks.
The win snapped a four-game skid and brought the Wizards a threerd straight win.
“The way we played, we were the better team,” Jennings said.
“That’s what it comes down to.”
The Hawks, the team the Wizards beat the season opener, are coming off a tough loss to the Detroit Pistons.
They were playing without leading scorer Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who was sidelined because of an injury.
The loss dropped Atlanta to 11-23.
The Wiz have been a popular favorite to win the East, but the season-opening win didn’t guarantee that.
“We’ve got to get better,” guard Jason Terry said.
The Bucks, who host the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, are next up for the Wizards.
Washington is 10-17 since Nov, 15, and has lost five of six.