NBA Game Summary - Phoenix at Golden State
(Sunday, March 15th)
Final Score: Phoenix 154, Golden State 130
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Jason Richardson scored 31 points against his former team, and the Phoenix Suns used accurate shooting to pick up a 154-130 blowout win over the Golden State Warriors.
Richardson was 11-of-15 from the field for the Suns, who shot 62.1 percent on the way to their second straight win following a six-game slide. Ex-Warrior Matt Barnes added 20 points, 11 assists and six rebounds for Phoenix, which attained the highest point total in the NBA this season.
Shaquille O'Neal netted 26 points on 11-of-13 shooting for the Suns, who are now four games behind Dallas for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Leandro Barbosa scored 21 in the win.
Monta Ellis had 26 points for the Warriors, who, at 23-43, were officially eliminated from postseason contention. Corey Maggette added 21 points for Golden State, which had won its previous two games.
Golden State's Stephen Jackson had 10 points and nine assists before picking up his second technical foul late in the third quarter.
The teams combined for 146 first-half points, but at the end of 24 minutes Phoenix managed just a two-point lead.
The Suns then turned on the jets in the third, outscoring the Warriors, 46-25. Included in that was 19 unanswered points. Jackson's layup had the hosts within 90-87 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the quarter, but Richardson had eight points during Phoenix's game-changing spurt, capping it with a short shot with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third.
"I thought in the third quarter we came out really aggressively," said Suns coach Alvin Gentry. "We really tried to get the ball into Shaq, push the ball, take some shots that we had and got separation."
The margin stood at 120-97 moving to the fourth, and Alando Tucker's layup made it a 30-point difference with two minutes remaining.
"We were right there," said Crawford of the third quarter. "We gave ourselves some chances to get right back in the game and put pressure on them, but unfortunately today it didn't go our way."
Steve Nash contributed 11 points, nine assists and seven boards for the Suns, while Jared Dudley also scored 11. Grant Hill had nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Kelenna Azubuike scored 18 and Jamal Crawford 17 in defeat.
It was tight throughout an entertaining first quarter, which finished with the Suns clinging to a 42-36 lead. Two straight baskets by Barbosa increased the margin to 52-40, but Golden State finished the half on a 15-2 spurt.
The Suns open a four-game homestand Wednesday against Philadelphia, while the Warriors host the Clippers on Tuesday...Phoenix has won 10 of the last 15 meetings...Phoenix snapped a five-game road skid...Golden State went 35-of-40 at the foul line.
03/16 03:38:42 ET