J-Rich, Fisher Power Warriors Past Suns
Golden State 110, Phoenix 102
OAKLAND, Calif., April 14 (Ticker) -- Jason Richardson scored 27 points and Derek Fisher added 19 as the Golden State Warriors put together an efficient third quarter to post a 110-102 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Already having wrapped up the Western Conference's second seed, the Suns (52-27) were without reigning MVP Steve Nash, who sat out with a hamstring injury.
"We still want to win, we still want to play, we've just got to rest some bodies for those guys to be ready for the playoffs," Diaw said. "But we still want to play the same way, fast-paced and try to run a lot."
"He's (Diaw) our best set-up guy," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We play a lot through him. He had 16 assists and that's really good. He's pretty versatile. He knows how to play basketball, there's no doubt about it."
The Warriors responded with a 37-point third quarter, shooting 64 percent (14-of-22) in the period to take an 84-77 lead.
"We got a little tired because we didn't play with Steve and Raja (Bell)," Diaw said.
"We got sloppy," D'Antoni said. "I don't know if it's because everybody was out of position or what. We tried to make things way too hard - 20 turnovers just ruins the flow of the game. Hopefully, it was just because we were a little tired. Everybody was playing out of position, so hopefully that's the reason."
Calbert Cheaney's 3-pointer with 4:54 remaining gave the Warriors a 100-87 lead. The Suns were able to close to 105-100 following two free throws by Shawn Marion with 60 seconds to go.
However, Fisher answered with a shot from the arc 20 seconds later to seal the Warriors' second straight win following a nine-game losing streak.
"We're just finishing up and the season isn't over yet," Warriors rookie Monta Ellis said. "We're not making the playoffs, but the season's still going on. We still want to compete until the end and we've got no more games left."
Mike Dunleavy Jr. scored 18 points and rookie Ike Diogu collected 10, 10 rebounds and a season-best four blocks for the Warriors (32-47), who already have clinched last place in the Pacific Division.
"You want to win games and say you did better than last year but the fact of the matter is, we're in the same boat, not quite in the playoffs," Dunleavy said. We'll probably want to be careful about how many we win because of the draft position. We're going to try but if we don't, that's OK too because we'll have a higher draft pick."
Marion scored 31 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for Phoenix, which made 9-of-25 attempts from the arc. The Suns have 797 3-pointers on the season, breaking their NBA record from last season.
"We went out there and left it on the floor," Marion said. "The rookies played great for the Warriors - Monta Ellis, Ike Diogu - they all played pretty good for them and we were just trying to make it hard for them. We had a chance to win it but we ran out of juice at the end."