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WASHINGTON -- Washington Wizards big man Nene has been suspended for Sunday's Game 4 of his team's first-round series against the Chicago Bulls for head-butting, the NBA announced Saturday.
The Wizards center got into a tussle with Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler with 8:28 remaining in the fourth quarter of Game 3. The two exchanged words while going forehead to forehead for several moments. It appeared that Nene incited the altercation by putting his hands on the back of Butler's head.
"We've got to be ready for everyone," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Saturday when the prospect of a possible Nene suspension was broached. "That's the way we're looking at it. We're not speculating on what might be, that's not our concern. Just get ourselves ready; don't get lost in what could happen, what might happen."
The Bulls were not aware of Nene's suspension during their media availability period, but they were confident their mentality wouldn't change -- no matter what happened.
"I don't think it changes our mindset," center Joakim Noah said. "We know it's a crucial game for us. All three games [of this series] really came down to the end. It's just attention to detail is huge. And the game in these situations, it's so mental. So for us, it's just about staying focused on things that we can control."
The Wizards lead the series 2-1.