Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/12

Game 1: Saturday, November 12th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 7th
Game 3: Thursday, January 12th
Game 4: Friday, April 14th

Suns 102

(52-27, 22-17 away)

Warriors 110

(32-47, 20-20 home)

    7:30 PM ET, April 14, 2006

    ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 23 32 22 25102
    GS 26 21 37 26110

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: S. Marion 31 Pts, 12 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Golden State: J. Richardson 27 Pts, 9 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    Warriors knock off Suns behind Richardson, Fisher

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Jason Richardson won't allow the Golden State Warriors to relax near the end of their 12th straight losing season.

    That's exactly what the Phoenix Suns intend to do in the final days before another playoff run.

    Richardson scored 27 points, Derek Fisher added 19 and the Warriors knocked off another playoff team on their way to an early summer, beating the Suns 110-102 Friday night.

    Steve Nash and Raja Bell dressed but didn't play for the Suns, who already have won the Pacific Division and clinched the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. The Warriors have clinched last place in the division with yet another miserable year, but Richardson sees no reason to let up.

    "We said (earlier in the week) we're playing our last five games, and we want to win," said Richardson, who's averaging 24.9 points per game since the All-Star break. "If we play the next three like we played the last two, we're going to win."

    The game actually turned out to be meaningful for the Suns -- just not in the standings.

    Shawn Marion scored 12 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter of an impressive effort, and Boris Diaw had his third triple-double of the year while the Suns broke their own NBA record for 3-pointers in a season despite fielding just a portion of their usual lineup.

    Nash, last season's MVP, is nursing minor injuries to his hamstring, hip and back. The Suns see no reason to aggravate them.

    "We're definitely going to save some guys' legs as much as we can," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Raja is definitely day-to-day. Steve, we'll see. I definitely want to err on the side of caution with those two guys. We've got one week to go, and we'll have to rest up a little bit."

    Phoenix kept it close despite the absences and a series of mismatched lineups by their experimenting coach, but seldom-used reserves Zarko Cabarkapa and Calbert Cheaney hit big baskets in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' first win over Phoenix this season.

    Troy Murphy and Mickael Pietrus sat out with minor injuries for the Warriors, who snapped a nine-game losing streak with a win over Dallas on Wednesday night. They haven't reached the playoffs since 1994, but the Warriors at least gave their faithful fans some entertainment late in the year.

    "At this point, technically the games are meaningless, so to go ahead and win them all, we're going to try," said Mike Dunleavy, who had 18 points for Golden State.

    Then he joked: "But if we don't, that's OK, too, because we'll have a higher draft pick. We're going to go in and compete. Hopefully we win, and if we don't, then I guess there's a little consolation that we won't slip in the standings for the draft."

    Golden State finishes the season with a home-and-home series with Portland, followed by a trip to Utah.

    Diaw had 11 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 16 assists, while Leandro Barbosa had 20 points and four 3-pointers for the Suns, who hit nine 3-pointers to give them 797 this season -- one more than last season's record-setting total for D'Antoni's inventive offense.

    Phoenix trailed by 13 in the fourth quarter, but got within 105-100 on Marion's free throws with 1:01 left. Fisher hit a 3-pointer on Golden State's ensuing possession to seal it.

    After impressive back-to-back victories over Sacramento and Dallas earlier this week, Phoenix plans to keep its stars healthy through its final four games before a probable first-round matchup with Kobe Bryant's Lakers, their opponents Sunday at Staples Center.

    "We still want to win and see which team we've got to play (in the postseason)," Diaw said. "We got a little tired because we didn't play with Steve and Raja, and they usually play a lot. Sometimes we get to rest up because Steve is doing all the work."

    Golden State took the lead midway through the third quarter with 11 consecutive points, then made another run spanning the final quarters. But Marion scored 11 points in the final 6 minutes to make it close.

    Game notes

    Monta Ellis had 12 points in his first NBA start for the Warriors. ... Murphy has a sprained right ankle, while Pietrus strained a muscle in his groin. ... Phoenix F Nikoloz Tskitishvili scored six points on his 23rd birthday. ... Nash and Bell had missed just one game apiece earlier in the season with minor injuries. Marion is the only player to start every game for the Suns this year. ... Cheaney, who played in just one of the Warriors' previous 14 games, scored six points in 15 minutes.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 102 110
    FGM-FGA 40-95 (.421) 43-91 (.473)
    3PM-3PA 9-25 (.360) 8-22 (.364)
    FTM-FTA 13-16 (.813) 16-19 (.842)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-53 7-39
    Assists 24 19
    Turnovers 20 10
    Steals 7 11
    Blocks 4 7
    Fast Break Points 16 16
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 15 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 12 14

    Top Performers

    Golden State
    Shawn Marion Marion
    Points: 31
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Jason Richardson Richardson
    Points: 27
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0