for this game

Richardson's return unpleasant as Warriors rout Bobcats

Feb 2, 2008 - 7:25 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- It was not a warm welcome for Jason Richardson in his return to the Bay Area.

Monta Ellis scored 21 points as the Golden State Warriors went on a monumental run bridging the first and second quarters en route to a 127-96 blowout victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night.

Stephen Jackson added 19 points to lead six players scoring in double figures for the Warriors, who went on an impressive 40-10 run to secure the victory.

Richardson, who played his first six seasons with the Warriors, was a fan favorite before he was traded in the offseason for Brandan Wright, the No. 8 pick in the draft.

"I've moved on to the Charlotte Bobcats and I'm looking forward to the future there," Richardson said. "I see (the Warriors) games on TV and, you know what this place can be like when you win, and I experienced that last year in the playoffs being here. I do miss it, but I don't because its been a while, it's been that long."

In his return to Oracle Arena, Richardson struggled making just 2-of-9 shots from the field, finishing with 10 points.

"I only took nine shots, there was nothing wrong," Richardson said. "A lot of shots were in and out, and I only played 28 minutes because we have a game (Saturday) night. Once we lost the energy, the game was out of reach.

"The coach decided to bench us in the fourth quarter, but it's like that. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't."

Adding insult to injury, Wright threw down a one-handed slam dunk early in the fourth quarter which sparked the sold-out crowd.

"I just went out there and played ball," Wright said. "I'm sure (Richardson) is disappointed on how the game turned out, but we played well tonight. We played well defensively, got a lot of deflections, but they've got a good young team that's definitely going to be developing into one of those teams to look out for in the future."

Golden State has won four of its last five games and has nearly a week off until its next game on Thursday when it hosts the Chicago Bulls.

The Warriors recently signed forward Chris Webber, who has been inactive the past three games. Webber played with Golden State in the 1993-94 season before a very public feud with coach Don Nelson.

Webber was traded in the 1994 offseason and the franchise spiraled downward for 13 years until the Warriors made the playoffs last season. Webber has not played this season and, with extended time in practice, he could be ready to play next Thursday.

"I can't remember the last time we had a game, a blowout," Nelson said. "Seems like they've all been close or we've been blown out, and it's really good, the right thing for our team heading into Chris Webber's mini-camp, and the reserves got a chance to play and play well.

"Just one of those games and, you have a few of those each year, both ways. It's a perfect win for anytime."

The Warriors were hot from 3-point range, making 10-of-18 shots from the arc while the Bobcats hit just 3-of-17.

Despite the final score, both teams got off to slow starts.

Charlotte led, 19-17, with 3:38 to go in the first quarter, but Golden State went on its blistering run between the first and second quarters to forge a 28-point lead.

With such a huge advantage, coach Don Nelson rested his starting lineup - except for Al Harrington - as Golden State took a 69-48 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Warriors maintained a double-digit lead after intermission following their lopsided run in the first half. The Bobcats briefly cut their deficit to 15 points in the third quarter before conceding defeat.

"We made shots, which helped us on the defensive end," Harrington said. "We got a lot of deflections, and I think overall we played a great game for 48 minutes. A great game going into our break,too. So, now we should be coming out of this with a lot of confidence."

With the game seemingly in hand, the starters were removed late in the third with the Warriors holding a 101-69 lead at the end of the quarter.

With such a big lead, the fans encouraged the young Warriors' reserves to shoot 3-pointers and long jumpers, which they did to the crowd's delight.

The lone bright spot was for the Bobcats was Emeka Okafor, who led the team with 20 points and 18 rebounds.

Charlotte has been one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference recently, losing four of its last five games and is just 4-15 on the road.

"This team (Golden State) is really fast and unless you're exceptionally quick getting back on transition defense, they're going to run by you," Charlotte coach Sam Vincent said. "So, I thought they really leaked out and got some fast-break opportunities and opened up a nice little gap and from there we were playing catch up all night."

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