Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/9

Game 1: Tuesday, December 9th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 28th
Game 3: Friday, February 27th
Game 4: Friday, April 9th

Warriors 98

(10-9, 2-5 away)

    Coverage: FSBAY

    7:00 PM ET, December 9, 2003

    Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

    1 2 3 4 T
    GS 32 25 23 1898
    MIN 28 22 31 1495

    Top Performers

    GS: J. Richardson 30 Pts, 9 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Min: K. Garnett 33 Pts, 14 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Garnett's 33 points, 14 rebounds not enough

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- For the first time in a decade, the Golden State Warriors have a winning record at this point of the season.

    Jason Richardson made a wide-open 3-pointer with two-tenths of a second left, giving Golden State a 98-95 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

    "Long way to go -- it's just December," said Nick Van Exel, who set up the winning shot.

    Richardson had 30 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Warriors (10-9), who have a winning record after the 15-game mark for the first time since 1993-94. They went 52-30 that season.

    "You win and their superstar has a good game, it's a confidence builder," said Golden State coach Eric Musselman, who watched Minnesota's Kevin Garnett tie a season high with 33 points and grab 14 rebounds.

    "That's a young team that has confidence and is playing well," said Garnett, who answered a one-handed baseline shot by Richardson with a long jumper that put the Wolves up 95-93 with 1:13 remaining.

    Van Exel's two free throws tied it, and Fred Hoiberg missed a 3-pointer on the other end for Minnesota. Golden State's Brian Cardinal missed a jumper, but Richardson kept the ball alive and the Warriors held for the final shot -- refusing to call timeout.

    "We have great trust in our players," Musselman said.

    Van Exel drove the lane and dished to Richardson on the wing. After sinking his third 3, Richardson left his cocked wrist up high for all to see and exchanged chest bumps with Van Exel and Calbert Cheaney.

    "Wide open shot like that with the game on the line -- I just knew I had to make it," said Richardson, the Warriors' leading scorer in his third season out of Michigan State.

    The Wolves were howling for a foul on Richardson, who they felt pushed Garnett as he leaped to grab Cardinal's miss.

    "But you know, we didn't block him out either," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said.

    Richardson insisted he was innocent.

    "I didn't foul nobody," he said. "I went straight up. I almost had a dunk."

    Latrell Sprewell had 27 points, and Sam Cassell added 17 points and 12 assists for the Wolves, who played their first home game in nearly two weeks after going 4-1 on a Western Conference road trip. They're just 4-5 at Target Center this season.

    The Wolves had trouble defending the pick-and-roll and lacked aggressiveness on offense. They went to the line 20 times, compared to 29 for the Warriors.

    "Hopefully we'll get it together and play the way we do on the road," Sprewell said. "We're OK. It's not the end of the world."

    Sprewell and Cassell have been excellent sidekicks to Garnett, but they're playing more minutes than the team would like with the absences of Troy Hudson, Wally Szczerbiak and Michael Olowokandi.

    "I don't know what options we have right now," Saunders said. "Until we get everyone back, that's what we're going to have to be."

    But the Warriors can play the injury excuse card, too, since Troy Murphy and Evan Eschmeyer haven't played yet and Adonal Foyle and Popeye Jones have each missed 16 games.

    A snowstorm kept many fans from arriving on time, and the Timberwolves did little early to excite the sedated crowd -- announced at 14,195.

    Minnesota trailed by as many as 11 but surged out of the second half with a 12-4 run to retake the lead, 62-61. A see-saw third quarter ended on a 3-pointer by Cardinal, who cut Minnesota's lead to 81-80.

    Game notes

    Murphy and Szczerbiak have the same injury -- foot soreness that's caused by plantar fasciitis. Murphy might be able to begin practicing in about a week. Szczerbiak's absence is indefinite. ... Olowokandi missed his third straight game with right knee tendinitis. A specialist in Colorado told him that surgery is an option, but Olowokandi will rest and rehabilitate the knee for now. ... Cardinal had 17 points and is shooting 90.6 percent from the foul line. ... The Warriors started a stretch in which they'll play 12 of 16 games on the road. ... Minnesota F/C Mark Madsen returned after missing six games with back spasms.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 98 95
    FGM-FGA 34-77 (.442) 38-81 (.469)
    3PM-3PA 5-12 (.417) 3-10 (.300)
    FTM-FTA 25-29 (.862) 16-20 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-40 7-38
    Assists 26 24
    Turnovers 9 7
    Steals 5 3
    Blocks 0 4
    Fast Break Points 1 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 24 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Golden State
    Jason Richardson Richardson
    Points: 30
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 33
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1