After missing the last four games with tendinitis in his right Achilles, Wizards center Nene made his return to the lineup Dec. 18 during a road game against the Brooklyn Nets. Nene came off the bench to score 17 points during 23 minutes played as the Wizards defeated the Nets, 113-107.
Point guard John Wall led the team with 21 points, but said he was thrilled to have two of the team's best scoring options -- Nene and guard Bradley Beal -- return to the lineup on consecutive nights.
"It's a lot better for me," Wall said, "because you can't just single in on me. We do a good job of getting it to people; we just got to finish plays. That takes pressure off me, but we just got to get stops, because we knew they were going to make a run, and we stuck with ourselves."
Beal said he had been glad to be back on the court with Nene, because the two have developed such strong chemistry.
"We just make eye contact when we have shooters on the floor," Beal said. "He's a good dude to have out there when we're doing the pick and roll. It's definitely great to have him back out there. He's a great presence."
Despite missing nine games with a stress injury to his right leg, Beal has shown no signs of rust since his return Dec. 16 against New York. Beal scored 21 points during the win against the Knicks and 15 points during the win against the Nets.
Nets forward Paul Pierce led all scorers with a season-high 27 points and point guard Deron Williams tied his season high with 13 assists. The Wizards lead the season series with the Nets, 2-0, and will face them one final time at Verizon Center in March.
Coach Randy Wittman likes the direction the Wizards are going in, he said, and is happy to have two of his best players back.
"I thought tonight was as good a game we've played in a long time from start to finish," Wittman said. "Through every run that Brooklyn made, we kept our composure. We kept good execution. We had just a lot of really good play from a lot of people."
The Wizards (11-13) will have two days off before facing the Boston Celtics (12-15) on the road for an afternoon game Dec. 21. The Celtics have won six of their last 10 games. The Celtics are still without All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, who is recovering from a torn ACL. Rondo was cleared to return to practice Dec. 14 and is expected to return to the lineup sometime in January.