What a difference Nene makes. The power forward, who sat out the previous game because of soreness in his right Achilles, was a surprise starter Saturday as the Wizards (8-9) picked up where they left off in front of 14,280 at Verizon Center.

The Wizards, who scored a season-low 73 points, are 5-2 at home and 3-0 when starting John Wall, Trevor Ariza, Martell Webster, Nene and Marcin Gortat.

Nene scored only four points in the first half, but this team is so much more fluid on both ends with him in the game. He finished with 13 points on 4 of 12 shooting, a game-high 12 rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot.

Atlanta, however, went on a 15-3 run to close to 69-63 until a pair of three-pointers from Webster and a floater by Eric Maynor helped Washington go into the fourth quarter with a 79-70 cushion.

The three-point shooting of Paul Millsap and clutch play of Shelvin Mack energized the Hawks as they wilted the deficit to three and four points on several occasions late. But Nene made most of the plays, including some that won't appear in the stats, to hold them off:

Rotated out to point guard Jeff Teague, forcing him into an airball
Blocked DeMarre Carroll at the rim
Drew a charging foul on Cartier Martin
Forced Teague into another miss as he attempted a runner in the lane
Grabbed an offensive rebound of a miss by Gortat for a putback and a 95-88 lead
The Wizards had all five starters in double figures, led by Wall's game-high 26 points, Ariza had 24 that included 5 of 6 three-pointers, Webster contributed 19 and made 5 of 9 threes and Gortat 12 points.

Only two players scored double figures in Friday's loss at the Indiana Pacers. Nene didn't play while Jan Vesely started that game in his place.

Nene left the locker room Saturday without speaking, according to a team official, because he wasn't feeling well.

The Hawks (9-9) were held to 35.9% shooting in the first half, but stayed in it because they were 14 of 16 foul shooting.

Millsap scored 19 of his team-high 23 in the second half for Atlanta as he made 4 of 5 three-pointers.