OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Jason Richardson, his left ankle in a bucket of ice, called it a desperation win. The Warriors desperately needed him in the fourth quarter.
Richardson, who twisted his ankle on Monday night, scored 11 of his 25 points in the final 1:49 to lift Golden State over the Orlando Magic 98-94 on Wednesday night, ending a four-game losing streak.
“You’ve got to admire his courage,” Warriors coach Mike Montgomery said. “He wasn’t getting any lift off the ankle early and kept coming up short. You knew he was hurting but he didn’t want to come out and let it stiffen.”
Richardson scored 16 in the final quarter, including seven of his eight foul shots and the Warriors were 12-of-14 from the line.
“As long as I was on the floor, I was going to play like I was healthy,” Richardson said. “If you think you’re hurt, you’ll play hurt. I didn’t have the same jumping ability so I had to smarten up on how to get my shots to fall. I think the ankle will be a little sore tomorrow.”
Troy Murphy matched his season high with 20 rebounds and added 14 points as the Warriors won in their first meeting of the season with the Magic.
“We’ve put ourselves in a bit of a hole the past couple of weeks,” Murphy said. “All these games are a must for us.”
Derek Fisher had 18 points and 10 assists for his second consecutive double-double and just the fifth of his career. He recorded three in a row during the 1998 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, and then none until Monday night. Mike Dunleavy added 12 points.
Dwight Howard had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Magic, who lost their 10th straight on the road and fell to 6-23 away from Orlando. DeShawn Stevenson added 18 points, Keyon Dooling had 13 and Darko Milicic 12.
“Jason made some unreal shots,” Howard said. “I was shocked by some of the ones he hit. When they called on him he came through.”
Andris Biedrins gave the Warriors a 77-76 lead with 8:17 to play with a dunk. The score went back and forth until Richardson took over in the closing minutes.
“He’s not afraid to make mistakes,” Richardson said. “It’s amazing how he gets offensive rebounds. The moment he steps on the court he’s playing hard.”
Mickael Pietrus hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 84 and Richardson, playing on a bad left ankle, hit a pair of short jumpers to give Golden State an 88-84 edge with 1:39 left to play.
“It was a tough loss,” Stevenson said. “We gave it up in the fourth quarter. They did a good job of stopping our last few plays.”
Biedrins also saved a loose ball in the final minute that led to Richardson’s jumper as the shot clock wound down.
“That was a huge play,” Orlando coach Brian Hill said. “He ends up dribbling to the deep corner and knocking down the shot. We had some opportunities to shoot 3s at the end but instead we shot twos.”
Orlando scored the last six points of the third quarter, four from Howard, to take a 70-64 lead into the final period.
The Warriors scored 11 of the game’s first 15 points, but that lead disappeared in a hurry.
The Magic gained the advantage in the first minute of the second quarter and led by as many as nine before settling for a 50-48 halftime advantage.
Richardson has reached double figures in scoring in his last 72 games, the longest such streak since Latrell Sprewell went 78 games between April 1996 to March 1997. … Warriors G Baron Davis missed his seventh straight with a sprained right ankle. … The Magic play 10 of their 17 games in March on the road. … Murphy recorded the 100th double-double of his career. … Dooling had four assists and is one shy of 600.