Coming off one of his better performances of the season, Richardson and the Warriors (4-3) look to pick up a third straight win Tuesday when they continue their seven-game homestand with a matchup against the Toronto Raptors (2-4).
Richardson had 16 points and nine rebounds Saturday as Golden State improved to 2-0 on the homestand with a 111-79 rout of Detroit. Richardson, who is still recovering from offseason knee surgery, sat out Thursday’s game against New Orleans because of fluid buildup and stiffness in the knee.
But on Saturday, he played over 30 minutes for just the second time this season and had a highlight-reel, one-handed dunk.
“He hasn’t been able to do that coming off one leg,” Golden State coach Don Nelson said. “That looked like the old J.R.”
Richardson averaged a career-best 23.2 points per game in 2005-06, but is posting just 13.0 this season while playing an average of 8.9 fewer minutes per game.
“It’s a huge mental boost,” Richardson said of Saturday’s performance. “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.”
Saturday’s victory was the third in four games for the Warriors and third straight at home. Golden State led the Pistons by as many as 25 points in the first half and finished the night 12-of-21 from 3-point range.
“Well, I did not see that coming, but I’ll sure take it,” Nelson said.
Toronto has lost its last two contests, including a 107-92 defeat to Sacramento on Sunday in the opener of a five-game trip. The Raptors have lost their first two road games this season by an average of 12.5 points.
Coach Sam Mitchell said he was contemplating lineup changes after the Raptors’ loss to Atlanta on Friday, and although the starting five was the same Sunday, Mitchell used 12 players.
“Where is our confidence? Where is our swagger?” he said. “You’ve just got to have confidence when you step out on the court. We need to find it.”
Toronto has won two in a row and six of eight against Golden State following an eight-game skid in the series.
Golden State’s homestand matches the longest in team history without playing at a neutral site. It ends Nov. 22 against Denver.