Wittman on starting Nene: 'I wanted to change things up'
Nene's minutes restrictions ended Monday as the 7-footer started for the Wizards for the first time in more than a month. They still came out flat in the third quarter, almost blowing a 13-point halftime lead but won on the road for the seventh time in nine games by beating the Chicago Bulls.
The Wizards (17-19) shot 52% overall against one of the NBA's best defensive teams and only committed 13 turnovers.
Nene, who had been limited because of a sore right Achilles, led six scorers in double figures with 19 points on 9-for-14 shooting. Trevor Ariza had 16, nine rebounds and four assists; Bradley Beal 13 points; John Wall contributed 19 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals; and from the bench Martell Webster led with 12 points, Garrett Temple added 10 and Trevor Booker six.
Chicago (17-19) was led by Carlos Boozer with 19 points and Joakim Noah led all rebounders with 16.
Turning point: After the Bulls cut a double-digit deficit to 65-61 in the third quarter, the Wizards went on an 8-0 run that included three-pointers for Ariza and Webster on assists from Wall.
Key stat: The Wizards shot 59% in the first half and assisted on 17 of their 23 field goals as they led 56-43 at halftime. Having the cushion to begin the third was important because Washington started 0-for-6 but maintained the lead throughout.
Tightening up: Coach Randy Wittman didn't play Otto Porter, Kevin Seraphin, Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton or Eric Maynor. Seraphin scored a season-high 18 points in in the previous game.
Up next: The Wizards returned immediately after the game and likely will have a light shootaround Tuesday at Verizon Center before Wednesday's game vs. the Miami Heat (CSN, 7).