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McGee, Young doing much of the same on new teams

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,Craig Stouffer
While the Wizards drag toward the end of an NBA season that will be measured in ping pong balls, Nick Young and JaVale McGee could be headed for the playoffs. But their changes in fortune haven't changed them as players.

Young is all but assured of getting to the postseason with the Los Angeles Clippers (32-21), who have won six games in a row for the first time in two decades. He's contributed by doing what many expected before settling for the Wizards' qualifying offer -- providing a shooting spark off the bench. In Monday's 94-75 win over Dallas, Young had seven points in a row during a second-quarter spurt, finishing with 10, just shy of his 11.6 average since being traded. The Clippers had lost three in a row with Young in the starting lineup.

McGee and the Denver Nuggets (29-24) have a slim hold on the seventh spot in the Western Conference, but six teams entered Tuesday night within 3? games of one another in a tight battle to reach the postseason.

The fourth-year center's debut was a smash hit: 15 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and a game-winning rebound and slam dunk.

Averaging 10.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks, McGee has been in the Nuggets' starting lineup for the last four games. He managed just 11 minutes in Sunday's 104-101 win at Orlando, finishing with two points, seven rebounds and five turnovers -- in a game Dwight Howard (back) didn't even play. McGee will have to bounce back to convince the Nuggets to meet his reported $14 million per year salary demands this summer.

- Craig Stouffer

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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