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PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 9 (Ticker) -- This wasn't the trophy Jason Richardson
was supposed to win.
Richardson scored 26 points and made Mike Miller eat his words
as the Rookies defeated the Sophomores, 103-97, in the 'got milk?' Rookie
Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend on Saturday.
Richardson made 11-of-18 shots and was named Most Valuable
Player. The athletic guard of the Golden State Warriors played
22 minutes and was very active but said he had plenty left for
the NBA.com Slam Dunk Presented by RealOne on Saturday night.
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Shane Battier and the Rookies elevated their games and downed the Sophs, 103-97.
Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images
"I got a good night's rest last night," Richardson said. "I
still think I'll have some energy to go back and rest a little
bit and get the fans excited for tonight."
Entered in the Slam Dunk, Richardson showed he is much
more than a leaper. He had a handful of rim-rattling dunks but
also showed a nice touch from the perimeter.
Early in the second half, Richardson had back-to-back 3-pointers
and a long jumper. He capped his spectacular game with a
reverse follow dunk that gave the Rookies a 98-92 lead with 1:20
Richardson posted the third-highest point total in the
eight-year history of the game, which now pits first-year
players against second-year players. Only Kobe Bryant, with 31
in 1997, and Wally Szczerbiak, with 27 last year, have scored
At practice on Friday, Miller said the Sophomores would win,
130-100. The swingman of the Orlando Magic made just 1-of-7
shots and became a two-time loser in this event, having lost as
a rookie last year.
"We just kept quiet and knew what we were going to do today,"
said Richardson. "I wanted to beat those guys so bad."
"You knew they were going to come with it and we were going to
come with it," Miller said. "We just waited too long to turn it
on. You have to give credit to them, they played."
Shane Battier of the Memphis Grizzlies scored 15 points and
Zeljko Rebraca of the Detroit Pistons added 14 and nine rebounds
for the Rookies, who shot 55 percent (45-of-82), picking up the
pace in the second half.
"I was impressed with -- I can't pronounce his name, from
Detroit," Richardson said. "I haven't watched him play that
much, but he's a pretty good ballplayer."
Quentin Richardson scored 22 points and Los Angeles Clippers
teammate Darius Miles added 20 for the Sophomores, who shot just
45 percent (44-of-97) and played more to the crowd than to win.
With 12:24 left, Jason Richardson came off a screen and threw
down a one-hand hammer dunk over Cleveland 7-footer Chris Mihm
that brought oohs from the laid-back First Union Center crowd
and gave the Rookies the lead for good at 72-71. He added a 360
dunk off a fast break just over a minute later.
"That's a preview of later," Jason Richardson said.
Battier took over from there, making four mid-range jumpers over
the next five minutes to help extend the lead to 92-81 with 5:22
Jason Richardson scored 11 points in the first half but was
outdone by Quentin Richardson, who scored 21 points -- many off
When Quentin Richardson took a seat, Miles took over. The 6-10
forward played point guard and did rather well, throwing a lob
that defending Slam Dunk champion Desmond Mason could not put
home, flipping in a dipsy-doo finger roll and going behind the
back with a dribble before whipping a behind-the-back pass to
Sacramento's Hedo Turkoglu for a layup and a 37-36 lead.
Of course, Quentin Richardson and Miles flashed their trademark
"noggin knock" after nearly every basket.
The Rookies went to halftime trailing 58-51, but not before
Jason Richardson threw down a vicious rock-the-baby dunk in the
Boston's Joe Johnson and Brendan Haywood scored 12
points apiece for the Rookies.
New Jersey's Kenyon Martin scored 17 points and Chicago's Marcus
Fizer grabbed 14 rebounds for the Sophomores, who held a 54-39
edge on the glass.