This is pretty much how things have gone for the Washington Wizards this season. With 3:44 to play in overtime Wednesday at TD Garden, point guard A.J. Price took a running 15-footer that managed to go down, moving Washington into a 90-88 lead and nudging the team toward what could have been its first win. Instead, the Wizards scored two points the rest of the way before a meaningless Bradley Beal layup with 0.6 seconds on the clock.

The Wizards had done much the same thing Saturday against the Boston Celtics, when they led, 86-84, with 2:56 to play before closing out scoreless the rest of the way in a loss. And in the opener against Cleveland, the Wizards were tied at 80-80 with 5:31 to go. They proceeded to score four points from there and lost by 10.

So it's no mystery as to why the Wizards are winless to this point. As coach Randy Wittman said, "We've got to learn to play down the stretch of games."

What matters most now, though, is that what was supposed to be a very different Wizards season has looked like every other Wizards season, in which fast starts have not been a strong suit. Nor have strong finishes, but, fact is, the team has often been left for dead before Thanksgiving. They were 0-8 last year, following up on a 2-6 start the previous season. They were 2-7 out of the gate in 2009, and 1-10 in '08. Thus, 0-3 feels too familiar.