Richardson, Warriors continue to rise in WestApr 16, 2007 - 4:54 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Jason Richardson and the Golden State Warriors weren't sure if they would get in the playoffs. Now, they are moving up the Western Conference standings.
Richardson collected 32 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists and Al Harrington added 18 points as the Warriors continued their hot play with a 121-108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Baron Davis recorded 17 points and seven assists for Golden State (40-40), which now is just one-half game behind the seventh-place Los Angeles Lakers (41-40) and one ahead of the ninth-place Los Angeles Clippers (39-41) in the race for the final two playoff berths in the West.
"We played well tonight and these games aren't always the easiest to coach," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "It was a great win for us because the Clippers lost. We haven't had the luxury of controlling our own destiny in awhile and that's why we fought so hard and have the record that we do down the stretch.
"I am still worried about our last two games because we have to play the best team in basketball and then go on the road on a back-to-back, and we haven't done well in those situations."
The Warriors won for the 14th time in their last 19 games and reached .500 for the first time since early January. As a result, Golden State is making a run at its first playoff spot since 1993-94 - and maybe a seventh seed.
"This feels good to actually know we're not playing the spoilers anymore, that every game could either get us to the playoffs or end our playoff hopes so it's just fun," Richardson said. "I think the last 10 games of the season have been playoff games for us because we have to win them."
"We're in the driver's seat, and what better position do you want to be in going into the last two games of the season than being in the driver's seat and being able to control your own fate?" Davis said. "We're going to continue to play hard because we're trying to prepare for the playoffs, and that's that we want to do."
Richardson was unstoppable from the perimeter, shooting 11-of-17 from the field, including 4-of-6 from the arc. But the high-flying swingman made an impact as a playmaker for the Warriors, who had six players in double figures.
"Oh man, we can sniff it right now," Richardson said. "We are so excited right now. We are riding high right now, so let's celebrate this win for about two hours and then we are getting ready for Dallas on Tuesday."
Golden State dominated Minnesota throughout, leading by as many as 43 points in the third quarter. However, the Timberwolves outscored the Warriors, 42-15, in the final period.
"I was disappointed with the bench play in the fourth quarter, and they laid an egg for the second straight game," Nelson said. "You don't want to play your big-minute guys in a blowout, and the bench has to go in and perform and show their skills."
Ricky Davis scored a season-high 42 points for Minnesota, which committed 21 turnovers.
GOLDEN STATE 121 FINAL
Apr 15 5:54 PM
GOLDEN STATE 106 END, 3RD QTR
Apr 15 5:21 PM
GOLDEN STATE 68 HALFTIME
Apr 15 4:44 PM
END 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
MINNESOTA 22 22
GOLDEN STATE 38 38 END 1ST QTR
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 1ST QUARTER
MIN - CRAIG SMITH 8, RICKY DAVIS 7, MIKE JAMES
GSW - JASON RICHARDSON 14, BARON DAVIS 10,
MONTA ELLIS 6
Apr 15 4:10 PM
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