Reliving every Washington Wizards Leap Day game in history

Philadelphia 76ers v Washington Wizards
Philadelphia 76ers v Washington Wizards / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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Roughly every four years comes a time when the Gregorian calendar finds itself 24 hours out of sync with the Earth's orbit, leaving us to observe a 29th day in February: Leap Day. Since 1900, the United States and many other countries worldwide have observed 31 leap years, with 2024 becoming the 32nd.

In Washington Wizards history, the team has been scheduled to play on February 29th eight times, most recently in 2016. The Wizards' Leap Day history goes back as far as 1972, telling a story of basketball history in Baltimore and the District, with many of the franchise's great players making an appearance.

Leap Day, 1972: Baltimore versus Seattle goes to overtime

In their second-to-last season in Baltimore, the Bullets welcomed the Seattle SuperSonics to the Baltimore Civic Center after losing in overtime to the New York Knicks at College Park just two days prior. Seattle entered the game at a solid 42-26, tied with the Golden State Warriors for second place in the powerhouse division of the Pacific.

Despite the strong efforts of All-Stars Wes Unseld and Archie Clark, a game-winning shot in overtime from Seattle's Lenny Wilkins sealed a 118-117 SuperSonics win. A second overtime loss in a row forced the Bullets to straighten up their game, sparking Baltimore to win eight of their next nine games and put on their best stretch of basketball all season.

Unseld, Clark, and Bullets rookie Stan Love each recorded a double-double in the Leap Day contest, Clark leading the way with a team-high 32 points. A 22-year-old Spencer Haywood, who would finish his NBA career with the Bullets 11 years later, dominated over 51 minutes of action, posting 38 points and 14 rebounds in the win.