Pietrus gave Golden State just the lift it needed, contributing
15 points and six rebounds off the bench as the Warriors ended a
four-game losing streak with a 104-96 win over the Indiana Pacers
on Saturday night.
"I don't mind getting a break," said Richardson, who scored 19
points. "He came in and gave us some great energy."
Troy Murphy had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors, who
sent the downtrodden Pacers to their fourth consecutive loss
despite the return of Reggie Miller.
Miller had quite a season debut with 23 points, but it wasn't
enough for the suspension-depleted Pacers to end their worst losing
streak of the season. Indiana heads home following an 0-4 road
"It would have been nice to win one or two of these games out
West," Miller said. "We'll be OK, but we've got to play much
better and harder than we're doing now."
Pietrus, a second-year forward who missed the first nine games
recovering from shoulder surgery, made 3-pointers at the end of the
first and third quarters to give Golden State momentum and did all
his damage in only 18 minutes. His defensive energy is something
else that makes him popular with first-year coach Montgomery.
"Those 3-point shots go in because we need it," Pietrus said.
"It wasn't lucky. I worked hard this summer. They should go in. I
feel like I'm getting much better every game, so I can come out and
do the right thing for my team."
Austin Croshere had 19 points and 14 rebounds for Indiana, which
lost leading scorer Jamaal Tinsley to a sprained right ankle with
47 seconds left in the third quarter. He returned briefly before
leaving the game for good, and he didn't know afterward whether the
injury would cause him to miss any games.
Tinsley, who had 18 points, 11 assists and five rebounds, landed
awkwardly on the ankle on a putback attempt, then grabbed his leg
in pain. He left the court with the help of two teammates.
Miller missed the first 15 games with a broken left hand. He was
activated from the injured list before Friday's 113-87 loss at
Sacramento and served his one-game suspension for leaving the bench
shortly before the Pacers' bench-clearing brawl at Detroit on Nov.
He wasted little time finding his offensive touch despite
wearing a protective brace on his non-shooting hand.
Speedy Claxton added 13 points and seven assists for the
Warriors before fouling out.
Golden State built a 60-47 lead early in the third quarter, but
couldn't maintain it. Miller scored five straight points to help
Indiana get back in the game, then his 3-pointer with 4:21 left in
the period pulled the Pacers to 67-66.
Miller scored his first points on a dunk at the 7:06 mark of the
first quarter, then hit a 3-pointer on the Pacers' next possession
33 seconds later.
Golden State is in a stretch with four of five games at home and
is desperate to establish some momentum on its own court, where the
Warriors set attendance records the past two seasons.
"Basically we've got to win games by any means possible,"
Miller had eight points, two assists and a rebound in the
first quarter. ... Richardson played only 15 minutes in the first
half. ... The Warriors had lost two in a row to the Pacers and six
of nine at home. ... Murphy had his third straight double-double.
... Croshere's 14 rebounds matched his career high. ... Indiana
made 23 of 24 free throws, just missing going perfect from the line
for the second time this year. The Pacers were 23-of-23 on Nov. 12