Richardson Scores 44, Warriors Cool Off Heat
Golden State 111, Miami 106
MIAMI, March 10 (Ticker) -- Jason Richardson singlehandedly ended the Golden State Warriors' struggles in South Beach.
Richardson scored 28 of his career-high 44 points in the first half as the Warriors snapped the Miami Heat's 10-game winning streak with a 111-106 victory.
"We needed this win very badly," Golden State coach Mike Montgomery said. "It was probably a little surprising that it came in Miami as compared to some other places."
Richardson netted 16 first-quarter points to combat the hot start by All-Star Dwyane Wade, who also had 28 points in the first half and finished with a season-high 42.
"I thought we were having a contest on who was going to get to 50 (points) first," Richardson said with a smile. "Wade is a star player who brings it every night and I want to be mentioned with his name as one of the top shooting guards in the league."
Golden State built a 97-83 lead with 7:11 left by going on a 16-2 run which started with Baron Davis' 3-pointer that ended the third quarter. Richardson had six during the spurt and the two-time Slam Dunk champion capped it with a breakaway 360 dunk.
The Warriors avoided another late-game meltdown by sinking five of their last eight foul shots to hold off the Heat, who crept within six points in the final 30 seconds.
Richardson made 17-of-26 shots - including 6-of-7 from behind the arc - and grabbed six rebounds. He eclipsed his previous career high of 42, which he reached most recently on Tuesday in Atlanta.
"He was hot and has been hot for a while," Davis said. "It is good for us that he is playing at the level he is playing at and he keeps us in a lot of ballgames."
Troy Murphy collected 18 points and 12 boards and Davis added 13 and six assists for the Warriors, who had lost four in a row and eight of nine.
Wade made 14-of-20 shots as he reached 40 points for the second straight game.
"I made some plays, but I did not make as many plays as I wanted to," Wade said.
Shaquille O'Neal had 21 points and 15 rebounds for Miami, which lost at home for the first time since Jan. 26 vs. Phoenix.
"We had the opportunity to win this game tonight, but we didn't get any stops down the stretch," O'Neal said. "We got 10 out of 11, now we want to get the next 10 out of 11."