Nene makes presence felt in return

Nene makes presence felt in return
November 21, 2012, 11:45 pm
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The end result might have been the same, but there were quite a few changes for the Wizards in their 101-100 overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night.

The most obvious, and to some the most surprising, was the return of Brazilian center Nene to the lineup.

Sidelined since the start of training camp with persistent pain in his left feel as a result of plantar fasciitis, Nene participated in his first full practice on Tuesday and was a solid contributor in his season debut for the Wizards.

In 19:43 off the bench, Nene went 2-for-5 from the field and 8-for-10 from the foul line to finish with 12 points in the loss. Although he finished with just one rebound, Nene ran the floor well and was disruptive under the basket at both ends.

In other injury news, Trevor Booker sat out his first game of the season with a right knee strain. He suffered the injury late in the Wizards’ loss to the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.

Starting lineup: Wizards coach Randy Wittman promised a new starting lineup against Atlanta and he delivered one, replacing Emeka Okfor, Trevor Ariza and A.J. Price with Kevin Seraphin, Shaun Livingston and Bradley Beal. The other two starters were Jan Vesely and Jordan Crawford.

Of those five starters against the Hawks, only Bradley Beal had started in the season opener.

Of the starters, Seraphin had the most impressive night. The 22-year-old forward recorded season highs in points [21] and rebounds [10] and was a force at both ends of the floor.

Price and Ariza also had big nights off the bench. Price finished with 14 points and seven assists in 31 minutes of action, while Ariza recorded 12 points and a season-high 15 rebounds in nearly 40 minutes of action.

With Nene back in the lineup, Okafor was less of a presence off the bench, contributing six points and four rebounds in 15 minutes of work.

This and that: The Wizards enjoyed a strong night on the glass, outrebounding the Hawks by 39-27 count. … Beal fouled out of a game for the first time in his NBA career. He finished with six points and four assists. … The Wizards’ losing streak in Atlanta is now at nine games. Their last victory there was on Jan. 11, 2008.