Richardson steps up after Davis' ejection as Warriors winApr 2, 2007 - 3:37 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Trying to make the playoffs, the last thing the Golden State Warriors needed was the first-quarter ejection of star guard Baron Davis.
Jason Richardson picked up the slack with 26 points as the Warriors held off the Memphis Grizzlies in a 122-117 victory to keep alive their postseason hopes.
Stephen Jackson added 21 points for Golden State (35-39), which moved within 1 1/2 games of the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets for the Western Conference's final playoff spot. The Warriors have not made the postseason since 1994.
Davis scored seven points in the first 10 1/2 minutes but was ejected with 1:22 left in the first quarter after he pounded the scorer's table in frustration following a non-call.
"Anytime somebody goes out, especially somebody like Baron we all got to step up," Richardson said.
"Guys stepped up everywhere. MP ( Mickael Pietrus) stepped up on the defensive end again, got some big blocks, Monta with the assists, Steve scoring and his assists and everybody stepped up once Baron went out."
Memphis held its largest lead at 97-88 on two free throws by Hakim Warrick with just over 10 minutes to go. Richardson responded with a 3-pointer, triggering a rally.
"We live to fight another day," coach Don Nelson said. "About the time you hope that we're finally going to have an easy game, you get one of these. ... I'm very happy that we found a way to win this one because we couldn't afford to lose this one really and stay in the hunt."
Coming off a season-high 36 points in Thursday's win over Phoenix, Richardson hit another shot from the arc to give Golden State a 99-99 tie with 6:35 to play. He scored 20 points in the second half.
"Jason is a leader too and he knows when to step up and he did a really great job in this game and he really carried us," said Andris Biedrins, who scored nine points off the bench. "He made a nice couple of 3-point shots when we needed it and he's here for us."
Chucky Atkins and Mickael Pietrus traded 3-pointers before Richardson and Pietrus drained long-range shots to build a 108-103 lead with 4:26 left.
In the final 20 seconds, Richardson and Monta Ellis made 5-of-6 free throws to seal the win.
"This is what it's all about," Richardson said. "We're trying to get into the playoffs, if we're not playing hard, we're in the wrong business."
Pau Gasol scored 23 points and Warrick added 19 for the league-worst Grizzlies, who have lost two in a row since their first winning streak of the season.
"They made plays when they needed to," Gasol said. "Offensively and defensively and they came up with some stops and they were very aggressive down the stretch and played with a lot of confidence making a lot of tough shots."
GOLDEN STATE 122 FINAL
Apr 1 5:34 PM
END 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
MEMPHIS 31 25 33 89
GOLDEN STATE 32 24 30 86 END 3RD QTR
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 3RD QUARTER
MEM - PAU GASOL 19, HAKIM WARRICK 15, RUDY GAY
GSW - STEPHEN JACKSON 16, MONTA ELLIS 14,
JASON RICHARDSON 13
Apr 1 4:54 PM
GOLDEN STATE 56 HALFTIME
Apr 1 4:08 PM
GOLDEN STATE 32 END, 1ST QTR
Apr 1 3:35 PM
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