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Posted at 11:04 AM ET, 01/20/2012

Smaller lineup has generated big production for Wizards

(Jonathan Newton - WASHINGTON POST)
The Washington Wizards have played some of their best basketball this season with a smaller, quicker lineup featuring John Wall at point guard, Jordan Crawford at shooting guard and Nick Young sliding to small forward.

Expect to see that trio on the court quite a bit in Friday night’s game against Denver, which prefers to get out in transition with Andre Miller and Ty Lawson pushing the ball. The Nuggets (10-5) are the second highest scoring team in the league, averaging 104.4 points per game.

During Wednesday’s 105-102 victory over Oklahoma City, which has the best record in the NBA, Coach Flip Saunders went with Wall, Crawford and Young down the stretch, and they all contributed to Washington’s second win this season.

“We’ve gone small a lot,” Saunders said. “We’ve played Nick and Jordan and John together, and those guys have all been very effective playing together in the fourth quarter.”

Young was particularly strong in the second half against the Thunder, making all five of his three-pointers after the break and scoring 22 of his 24 points.

Young also played Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant about as well as could be expected in the fourth quarter, helping to limit the reigning scoring champion to eight points in the period.

“I’m back, baby, I’m back,” Young said before Friday morning’s shootaround at Verizon Center. “So just look out for tonight.”

By  |  11:04 AM ET, 01/20/2012

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