Richardson scored 14 of his 23 points in a three-minute stretch midway through the third quarter, Gerald Wallace scored 27 points and the Charlotte Bobcats wore down the Sonics in a 100-84 win on Saturday night.
A night after Durant's 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Seattle a double-overtime win in Atlanta, the Sonics ran out of steam in the second half against a team off since Wednesday.
Raymond Felton added 13 points and 12 assists, Emeka Okafor had 12 points and 15 rebounds, and the Bobcats set a franchise record by limiting Seattle to 31 percent shooting.
"We knew they played a double-overtime game last night and they were going to get a little tired," Richardson said. "We just all woke up and got together."
Especially Richardson. Acquired from Golden State in a draft-night trade, Richardson provided the Bobcats' with that explosive scoring they didn't have in their first three seasons. Richardson hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 points in less than three minutes midway through the third quarter to erase an eight-point deficit.
"That's why the team went out and got him, because we know he's a scorer," Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said. "He can put points on the board real quick."
The Bobcats never trailed again, using their fresh legs to pull away early in the fourth quarter. Matt Carroll and Walter Herrmann hit 3-pointers to put Charlotte ahead 83-70. Wallace's alley-oop dunk on Felton's feed extended the lead to 90-74 with just over 7 minutes left.
Durant, the No. 2 pick in the draft, showed he's still adjusting to the sometimes brutal NBA schedule. The 19-year-old was held to 16 points on 3-of-12 shooting.
Chris Wilcox had 20 of his 24 points in the first half and Damien Wilkins scored 19 for Seattle, which had a two-game winning streak following their 0-8 start.
"We have to be mentally tougher than we were tonight," Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "I know they're tired. I know they tried. But we couldn't make a shot. The way we shot the ball put a lot of pressure on our defense."
Durant made all 10 of his free throws to partly offset his struggles from the field. Wilkins, who scored a career-high 41 points against the Hawks, shot 5-for-16.
Wally Szczerbiak (0-for-9 from the field) and Nick Collison (0-for-5) helped Charlotte shatter its previous best field goal percentage defense of 36 percent against Memphis last season. The Bobcats outrebounded the Sonics 60-38.
"This team has definitely bought into defense," Vincent said.
Knowing the Sonics were weary, the Bobcats ran at every chance, building a 10-point lead midway through the second quarter,
But the Sonics, playing zone, got back into it when Charlotte committed five of its 13 first-half turnovers during an 18-6 run to close the half that gave Seattle a 49-47 lead.
With a green-clad cheering section from a group home Wilcox sponsors, the Raleigh, N.C., native had 20 points and seven rebounds by halftime. That made up for a subpar first half from Durant, who had five points on 1-of-5 shooting.
Durant hit two free throws and had a driving layup early in the third quarter to give Seattle a 58-50 lead.
After coach Sam Vincent called a timeout, Richardson took over. Demanding the ball during his burst, Richardson helped Charlotte move to 5-4, the latest the franchise has ever been above .500.
"J-Rich got hot and we couldn't recover from that," Wilcox said. "It's been rough for us this first 10 games, but we're a young team. We're learning. We'll be OK."
Sonics C Robert Swift (knee) missed his fourth straight game, while F Kurt Thomas (hamstring) missed his second straight . ... Bobcats F Othella Harrington missed both shots and committed a foul in two scoreless minutes in his first game of the season following arthroscopic knee surgery. Vincent said if Harrington struggles, he'll push management to sign another big man. "If for some reason his knees don't hold up, then that need is still there," Vincent said.