ORLANDO, Fla. — Veteran forward Nene, in his second game back after missing more than a month with a left knee injury, scored 17 points in 20 minutes to lead the Washington Wizards to a 96-86 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.
Guard Bradley Beal had 16 points and forward Trevor Booker added 14 points.
Nene scored six points early in the fourth quarter but did not play in the final six minutes because his minutes were being restricted after the injury.
All-Star point guard John Wall had a game-high 12 assists but just 10 points after missing all four of his 3-point shots. Center Marcin Gortat scored 12 points, including six in the final six minutes.
Nene tied the score at 73 early in the fourth quarter, then scored again for the 77-73 lead and the Wizards never lost control.
Magic point guard Jameer Nelson had 12 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. Guard Arron Afflalo had a game-high 19 points. Orlando center Dewayne Dedmon, starting in place of injured Nikola Vucevic, had 10 rebounds.
The Wizards (41-38) are trying to pass the Charlotte Bobcats for the No. 6 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Wizards backup point guard Andre Miller, now in his 15th season, fouled out midway in the fourth quarter after only 10 minutes. He had four assists but did not take a shot.
Nelson hit back-to-back baskets at the end of the third quarter, giving the Magic a 70-67 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Wizards made a 9-0 run early in the third quarter and grabbed a 60-57 lead on a basket by Wall. The Magic opened the second half poorly, committing six turnovers in their first 11 possessions.
The Magic led 51-45 at halftime, riding another fast start from Afflalo, who had 14 points by intermission. Afflalo led the Magic with 25 points in Wednesday’s victory over the Nets.
The Magic led by as many as 13 points in the first quarter. The Wizards opened the game by making only two of their first 15 shots from the field. They made only 14 of 40 in the first half, but they did lead once, 38-36, on a basket by rookie Otto Porter.
Nelson had nine assists, six rebounds and five points by halftime.
The Magic made a 9-0 run late in the second quarter.
Nene, in just his second game back after missing 21 games with a sprained knee, gave the Wizards an early boost with eight points in just nine minutes in the first half.
NOTES: The Wizards will be in the playoffs for the first time since 2008. They went into the night with an identical record as the Charlotte Bobcats — tied for the No. 6 spot in the Eastern Conference — but the Bobcats hold the tiebreaker by virtue of beating the Wizards three times in the past four weeks. Dropping to No. 7 would mean a first-round matchup against either the Miami Heat or the Indiana Pacers. … Magic C Nikola Vucevic missed his fourth consecutive game with a sore left Achilles and his 22nd game this season. … The Wizards are as healthy as they have been all season and happy to have F Nene back for the second consecutive game. He missed 21 games with a sprained left knee and was out earlier with tendinitis in his right foot and a strained left calf. “The main thing now is getting him comfortable, getting his legs back under him, and seeing some different combinations,” Washington coach Randy Wittman said before the game. “I’ve got to make sure of guys in different combinations.”
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