OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—It’s a rare sight to see Jason Richardson on Golden State’s bench—and rarer still to see the Warriors rolling without him.
Derek Fisher and Mickael Pietrus combined for 10 points during a decisive fourth-quarter run, and the Warriors ended a six-game losing streak with a 90-82 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night.
“We’ve taken a lot of blows this season. It would have been awful tough to lose this one at home,” Golden State coach Mike Montgomery said. “We need some feedback, some positive feedback, because guys are working hard.”
Richardson played only seven minutes in the final period and sat for 5:21 during the key 15-3 run, but still finished with 25 points, five rebounds and three assists for his ninth straight game with 20 or more points. He was Golden State’s lone starter in double figures.
Pietrus had 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench and Fisher added 14 points as the Warriors ended a four-game home losing streak. Montgomery considered this the best game yet for Pietrus, a second-year swingman.
“At the end of the game, you have to stay together to be successful,” Pietrus said. “We just have to go out and not worry about our losses.”
Warriors center Dale Davis, playing in place of suspended forward Cliff Robinson, scored 10 of his season-high 14 points in the first 13 minutes and also grabbed 10 rebounds for his first double-double this season.
Richardson had a blast watching his teammates hit big shots, hit the boards and make the necessary extra pass down the stretch—the little things they haven’t been able to do so many other times during this disappointing season.
“It’s very fun,” he said with a smile. “I was kind of glad. It takes pressure off me.”
The Hornets led 62-61 going into the fourth quarter and the teams traded baskets for much of the period. But Pietrus hit a 3-pointer that started the 15-3 burst to give Golden State the lead for good.
“At the end of the game, it was a lack of focus,” Hornets coach Byron Scott said. “Right now, we’re a bunch of individuals. We’re not a team.”
This marked only the 13th game all season New Orleans didn’t trail by 10 points or more, but the Hornets still lost their fourth straight and sixth in a row on the road. They are the league’s worst road team and started their four-game road trip by dropping their 21st of 22 away from home.
The Warriors have a tough 48 hours ahead: They play Saturday night in Denver, then immediately fly to Miami for Monday’s game against the Heat.
These teams played a triple-overtime game here Nov. 23, won 115-109 by Golden State in which Richardson had 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. But the Hornets earned their second win of the season with a 98-89 home victory over the Warriors in December.
“Even with all that went wrong, I think we put together a decent drive and we still had our chances,” Hornets center P.J. Brown said. “I feel like we should have won this game. It would have been a great way to start our road trip.”
Golden State point guard Speedy Claxton returned to the Warriors’ starting lineup after missing six games with a bruised right thigh. Claxton wanted to bring some energy to the Warriors, but he struggled early and missed his first five field goal attempts. He scored for the first time early in the third quarter and finished with seven points, six assists and four rebounds in 30 minutes.
Hornets forward George Lynch also rejoined the starting rotation for the first time since Dec. 21. Lynch came off the bench in Wednesday night’s 90-82 home loss to Dallas in his first game back after being sidelined five games with an injured right foot.
He was held scoreless in 24 minutes but grabbed six rebounds.
New Orleans used a 17-7 run midway through the second quarter and shot 50 percent in the first half on the way to a 42-39 lead at the break. After starting the game 3-for-11, the Hornets shot 61.9 percent (13-for-21) the rest of the half.
Robinson served the second game of his five-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy. … Montgomery improved to 1-10 on Fridays. … Cubs manager Dusty Baker attended the game with son Darren, who turns 6 next Friday. … The Hornets’ 13 first-quarter points were the fewest allowed by Golden State this season. … There were 11 lead changes and five ties in the first half. … Pietrus swatted a shot by Jackson Vroman into the fourth row of seats in the final period.