OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Jason Richardson tested his legs and
thoroughly enjoyed the result: a spectacular one-handed jam that
showed everyone on the Golden State Warriors their star player is
finally nearing full strength.
Richardson had 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists playing
on a tender knee, and the Warriors beat the worn-down Detroit
Pistons for the first time in three years with a 111-79 victory
Not a bad outing for Richardson's confidence coming off knee
"It's a huge mental boost," he said. "I probably couldn't
have done it a couple of games ago. I'm still a couple of steps
behind. I don't have the explosiveness."
Baron Davis had 20 points, nine assists and five steals as the
Warriors ended a five-game losing streak to the Pistons with their
first win in the series since an overtime victory on Nov. 12, 2003,
Detroit has still won 16 of the last 21 meetings and owns an
11-game winning streak at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Pistons'
79 points were their fewest against Golden State since they also
scored 79 on Feb. 4, 1964.
Cell phone to his ear, Warriors team president Robert Rowell
reached out and knocked fists with Don Nelson as the coach made his
way through the hallway after this one -- which certainly had Golden
State's playoff-starved believing this might just be the one after
12 straight years without a postseason trip.
"Well, I did not see that coming, but I'll sure take it,"
Nelson said of the rout. "I think it's a coach's nightmare to have
a 20-point lead at the quarter. Only one thing can happen and
that's to lose it of course. We needed it."
Lindsey Hunter had 14 points for Detroit, which finished a
four-game West Coast road trip with a sloppy, uninspired
performance against a team it had become accustomed to beating.
Tayshaun Prince was held to 11 a night after scoring 31 to match
his career high.
Chauncey Billups also had only 11 points on 4-for-11 shooting
after he had 21 a night earlier in a win over the Lakers in Los
Angeles -- Detroit's lone victory on this road swing that featured
three double-digit defeats. The Pistons played four games in six
Richardson, who was questionable until just before game time
because of fluid buildup and stiffness in his surgically repaired
left knee, returned to the lineup after sitting out Golden State's
121-116 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Thursday night. He had
arguably his best dunk so far this season on an alley-oop from Troy
Murphy in the second quarter, and made two of Golden State's 12
"He kind of threw it a little high and I knew I had to get it
or Coach was going to yell at me," Richardson said.
Added Nelson: "He hasn't been able to do that coming off one
leg. That looked like the old J.R."
Davis made his first three shots for eight points as Golden
State hit seven of its first eight field-goal tries to build a 17-4
first-quarter lead. The Warriors' perimeter players took advantage
of the Pistons playing again without Richard Hamilton, who missed
his second straight game with a hyperextended right elbow.
Jason Maxiell also had 11 points for Detroit, which was
outrebounded 42-38 and couldn't overcome all of its missed
opportunities early. The Pistons trailed by as many as 25 points in
the first half and 57-32 at halftime.
"You're concerned no matter when it is (in a season) because
you want to get consistency, and we've got to get consistency,"
Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "We came out kind of flat and
they were hitting some shots in the beginning and pretty much just
beat up on us."
Flip Murray, playing in place of Hamilton, was held to six
points for the Pistons after three straight games in double
figures. Detroit didn't get to the free throw line for the first
time until 1:41 before halftime because it couldn't consistently
work the ball inside.
Mickael Pietrus drove through the middle of the key for a pretty
two-handed jam on Golden State's first possession of the second
quarter and finished with 13 points. Andris Biedrins also added 13
and Monta Ellis scored 12 and made four assists as the Warriors had
their second win of the week against a team that had 60 or more
victories last season.
Fans chanted "We want Foyle!" in the waning minutes for center
Adonal Foyle, who has a greatly diminished role in Nelson's system.
He never got in the game, the only player for Golden State who
Warriors G Dajuan Wagner made his first appearance in an
NBA game since Dec. 18, 2004, and scored four points. ... Hamilton
averaged 25 points in the two meetings with the Warriors last
season. ... Golden State's current seven-game homestand matches the
longest in team history without playing at a neutral site. ... The
teams' athletic trainers, brothers Mike (Detroit) and Tom Abdenour,
had their first reunion of the season. ... A moment of silence was
held before the national anthem for Veteran's Day.