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Nick Young providing a spark as a starter

Hawks (50-29) at Wizards (25-54)

Wizards starters: Shaun Livingston, Mike Miller, Nick Young, Andray Blatche, Fabricio Oberto

Hawks: Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, Al Horford

Line: Hawks by 6

It pretty much got overshadowed with Andray Blatche single-handedly outscoring Boston's Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, Shaun Livingston's career night, and JaVale McGee spooking out the Celtics inside with his long arms and activity. But the Wizards didn't start to dominate the Celtics on Friday night until Nick Young got it going and scored nine points during a 15-2 run at the end of the first quarter.

I bring that energy with my jumper. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

The game was tied at 15, but Young nailed a three-pointer and an 18-foot jumper. Then after McGee blocked a Rajon Rondo shot, Young scooped up the ball and jetted up the floor to launch a long three-pointer, about two feet behind the line, that banked off the backboard and touched almost every part of the rim before rolling in to give the Wizards a 30-17 lead. They continued to build the lead up to 28 points in the first half and were never in serious danger after that - despite a hurried comeback effort by Boston.

"Once I get it going, we all get rolling," Young said. "That's the energy I bring."

Young finished with 19 points, coming one point shy of extending his streak of consecutive games with at least 20 to three games. But Young kept another streak alive, as the Wizards improved to 9-4 when the 6-foot-6 shooting guard plays at least 30 minutes. They also are 9-11 when Young starts.

"I'm just going out there, playing every game to win. I want to show that I belong here," Young said. "The more wins I get, I'm getting more confident."

Young didn't get off to a rousing start when he was inserted into the starting lineup, pretty much by default, after Alonzo Gee made his surprising departure to San Antonio. He was benched within his first two minutes in Houston after committing a turnover and jogging back on defense while his man scored a fastbreak layup on the other end.

But Young has rewarded Coach Flip Saunders for sticking with him, with the Wizards winning four of their past six games. Young has also scored in double figures in each of his past five games. He is averaging 21.3 points in his past four games, including a season-high 29 points against Golden State.

"I just want to show that I want to be here, I want to be in this lineup, too. Just playing with confidence, playing aggressive," Young said.

Young said that the final three games are important to him, although the team has nothing to really play for anymore. "I am just playing basketball and playing the game I love. I am trying to get more minutes and trying to take advantage of it. I want a good rhythm going into the summer."

By Michael Lee  |  April 10, 2010; 5:07 PM ET
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Next: Andray Blatche for most improved player?


The way to go nick young, keep it coming.

Posted by: maejude | April 10, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Nick is a winner. That is all.

Posted by: elfreako | April 10, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

The Hawk's are trying to stay ahead of the Celtic's (playoff positioning) so the Wiz will not be "pimp slapping" them around tonite, granted Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby have been injured but came back last night in the Hawks victory over Toronto,back in November the Wiz came to the A-T-L fresh off of a opening night win over the Mav's and jumped on the Hawk's early(10 pt.lead)and then Mike Woodson called a time out and that was that,that in itself spoke volume's about the difference between these two franchises and what each GM did in the offseason. almost six month's later the Hawk's are legit and the Wiz................ well you know the answer to that statement.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 10, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Really wish the Hawks would go back to the Red and Gold.

Posted by: ts35 | April 10, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

NY has 19 at halftime. This dude's not playing around anymore.

Posted by: elfreako | April 10, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

LIVINGSTON has to come out for a breather and the HAWKS get the advantage.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 10, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

The stupidity of Flip Saunders is mind boggling you sit Livingston in the 4th qtr and allow the Hawks to take control of a winnable game, that is exactly why he needs to go and not to mention he sits NY at a crucial juncture and allows Young to lose his flow.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 10, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Exactly Darg! Flip replaces shaun with no PG...cost us the game...that and crawford the wizard killer

Posted by: BurgwithaU | April 10, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't able to watch the game but was able to check the score and was puzzled how all of sudden in the 4th we were down by 10 after staying right there for 3 quarters.

The comments above explain everything.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 10, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

"I wasn't able to watch the game but was able to check the score and was puzzled how all of sudden in the 4th we were down by 10 after staying right there for 3 quarters."

Whole lot of games like that in the NBA. That's why you hear folks say they don't bother turning the game til ten minutes from the end.

It's also why you need a player who can take over the game in the last few minutes, even when the rest of the team isn't playing well.
Atlanta had one tonight -- Crawford -- and the Wiz didn't.

That's what Gilbert used to do for Washington. I don't think he can do it anymore. Not with any consistency.

Otherwise i thought the game was pretty even.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 10, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

beside being a bonehead, flip is really a bad coach. how many lame excuses did flip utilize for not play nick young during the season. have you seen the play of miller, he throws the ball away alot, misses numerous shots if he is not hot. but nick young is yanked far quicker than miller why? am i the only one who is seeing this pattern?

Posted by: taeyyenom | April 11, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

And I agree, make it clear to ear.

Posted by: maejude | April 11, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

And I agree, make it clear to the ear.

Posted by: maejude | April 11, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

And I agree, make it clear to the ear.

Posted by: maejude | April 11, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

And I agree, make it clear to the ear.

Posted by: maejude | April 11, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

It looks like the young lad is growing up and maturing. Way to go Young Hollywood! Keep up the good work and strive to get better over the summer.

Posted by: ivyleague | April 11, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

we've got good young bloods in young, blatch, thorton, singleton, mcgee and livingston, add to that gilbert arenas, 4 drafts picks and at least one legit FA this summer and we'll be straight.

Posted by: bbachrac | April 11, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

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