Nene had 22 points and 10 rebounds in his debut with the Wizards, leading the team to a 108-89 road victory over the New Jersey Nets. The 6-foot-10 center plays at Verizon Center on Thursday night for the first time since he joined Washington, which faces Indiana.
Nene, who became the first Washington player to have at least 22 points and 10 rebounds in his debut with the club since Moses Malone, was the only starting member of the front court to reach double figures in scoring. His presence, however, made a difference for the starting back court of John Wall and Jordan Crawford.
Crawford finished with 23 points on 7-for-13 shooting, and Wall added 12 points, eight assists and five rebounds.
“What [Nene] gave us was some stability, some leadership, the know-how, how to play,” Coach Randy Wittman said. “He communicated unbelievably with our guys for the first time with them. Those intangibles for a young team are a value. I look at that more than anything else from last night.”
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Tipoff: 7 p.m. TV: Comcast SportsNet; Radio: 106.7 (WJFK FM). Check out a live box score for today’s game here.