WASHINGTON, D.C. — Forward Nene scored 30 points, including the game-winning dunk with 0.9 seconds remaining as the Washington Wizards made guard Andre Miller’s debut a winning one with a 94-93 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.
Guard John Wall had 10 points and 12 assists with the final one setting up Nene’s score after New Orleans forward Anthony Davis made two free throws to give the Pelicans a 93-92 lead with seven seconds left.
Center Marcin Gortat added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards (27-28), who won two straight overall.
Davis finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans (23-32). Guard Anthony Morrow made 7 of 8 field goal attempts and scored 18 points, but New Orleans lost its third straight and fifth in six games.
The tight matchup featured tied scores at the end of the second and third quarters, and neither side led by more than five points in the fourth. Washington trailed 89-85 when consecutive layups by guard Wall and center Gortat tied the game with 2:08 remaining.
Guard Eric Gordon’s free throws with 1:08 left put the Pelicans up 91-89. Nene could only split a pair of free throws for Washington with 55 seconds remaining. Following a missed jumper by Pelicans guard Brian Roberts, Wall darted down the lane for a layup while falling down for a 92-91 lead with 26 seconds remaining.
On its next possession, New Orleans worked the ball to Davis, who was fouled by Nene while shooting a jumper.
Wall set up Washington’s final play from the top of the key and then once again penetrated by New Orleans’ defenders before feeding Nene on the left block.
The Wizards won five straight in the series, including 102-96 at New Orleans on Jan. 8. Washington also evened its home record at 14-14 before the crowd of 18,385
Nene made his first five field-goal attempts and finished 13 of 19. Forward Martell Webster had three 3-pointers and scored 12 points for the Wizards, who shot 3 of 14 from beyond the arc.
The backcourt of Roberts and Gordon finished 5 of 23 from the field for New Orleans.
Neither team kept momentum for long as one scoring streak would be offset by the other side’s rally.
Tied at 43 at halftime, New Orleans jumped out to a seven-point lead early in the third quarter. Washington countered as Nene scored 13 during a 21-6 run for a 66-58 lead. The momentum immediately shifted back as the Pelicans scored the next 11 points including five from Morrow.
Miller, acquired from the Denver Nuggets in a three-team trade Thursday, had five points and three assists in 16 minutes off the bench in his first game since Dec. 30.
NOTES: New Orleans C Greg Stiemsma replaced Alexis Ajinca for his fifth start of the season. … Armed with an extra roster spot after the trade for G Andre Miller, the Wizards activated F Al Harrington. The veteran, who underwent a right knee procedure on Dec. 19, entered late in the first half. “To have him on the bench, his ability to talk to guys during the game, that was all big when he was active to start the year, not just his play on the floor,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. … The Wizards play in Cleveland against the Cavaliers on Sunday and the Pelicans return home to host the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.
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