Miller scores franchise-record 45 pts. in Grizz loss

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Mike Miller was in a frightening zone for the Memphis Grizzlies. Baron Davis was still out for Golden State, and Jason Richardson was decidedly rusty.

The Warriors survived it all -- and though it's still February, their overtime win put these longtime losers in playoff position.

Monta Ellis scored nine of his 22 points in extra time, and the Warriors survived Miller's franchise-record 45 points for a 118-115 victory Wednesday night.

With their first win after the All-Star break, the Warriors moved into eighth place in the Western Conference race -- no small achievement for a club that hasn't been in playoff position this late in the season since 1996.

Despite injury issues and the discombobulation from an eight-player trade last month, Golden State is making steady progress -- and not even Miller's nine 3-pointers could slow it.

"That's the best thing: We're finding ways to win now," said Stephen Jackson, who had 26 points and a career-high 12 assists. "We're not going to blow everybody out, and we're going to have to survive some games, but we're doing it."

The Warriors did it even when one player seemed determined to prevent it. Miller hit three of his club-record 3-pointers in overtime to cap a spectacular shooting display, but Ellis kept the Warriors close until Al Harrington made the go-ahead jumper with 1:02 to play.

Sarunas Jasikevicius then hit two late free throws, and Miller finally lost his stroke in the final minute as Golden State snapped a five-game losing streak to the conference's worst team.

"Miller was our No. 1 priority," Golden State coach Don Nelson said with an exhausted sigh. "We geared our whole defense for him, and he still goes for 45. ... Miller is a remarkable player, and maybe has the best range in the league. My hat goes off to him."

Miller, who scored 18 points in the second quarter, surpassed Pau Gasol's team-record 44-point performance against Seattle last season. He also surpassed Sam Mack's franchise best of eight 3-pointers -- but Memphis faltered late in its eighth loss in 10 games.

"It really doesn't matter anymore," Miller said. "Bottom line, I didn't have enough at the end. ... I needed to make more shots, and (we) needed to execute a little better."

Richardson scored 19 points in his return from a 22-game absence with a broken hand, playing 37 minutes but making just eight of his 22 shots. Harrington scored 22 points, and Andris Biedrins had 21 points and 14 rebounds as the Warriors played without Davis (knee surgery) for the fifth straight game.

Gasol had 22 points and 14 rebounds but missed two last-minute free throws for the Grizzlies.

In the clubs' previous meeting last month, Memphis scored 43 of its franchise-record 144 points in the fourth quarter -- and the Grizzlies were nearly as good in the rematch, with Miller bettering his 33-point outing.

"Being close on the road means nothing to us," Miller said. "But we're getting better, which is a positive."

After trading the lead six times in a tense fourth quarter, both clubs had a chance to win near the regulation buzzer -- but Jackson and Miller both badly missed 3-point attempts.

Miller then hit three 3-pointers in the first 2 1/2 minutes of overtime, shrugging his shoulders playfully at his bench after the third swish -- but calmly Ellis replied with nine straight points for Golden State, including a three-point play to tie it.

Harrington's jumper put the Warriors ahead 105-103, and Gasol missed two free throws before Rudy Gay bricked an open 3-pointer. Miller missed his team-record 17th 3-point attempt of the night with 11 seconds left.

"I'm really proud of the way he played," Gasol said. "Obviously he's not going to play like that every night, but it took that (game) from him for us to have a good chance to win a game, which should tell you a few things."

Richardson, who broke a bone in his hand Dec. 30, got a standing ovation when he checked in midway through the first quarter. Still wearing a protective wrap on his hand, he missed his first four shots before hitting a 17-foot jumper with 1 second left in the quarter.

"Even though my legs weren't there, I just felt like I had to do whatever it takes to win," Richardson said.

Game notes
Miller's second-quarter performance was four points shy of Greg Anthony's franchise-record 22 points in a quarter on Dec. 7, 1995. ... Memphis F Brian Cardinal, who parlayed one mediocre season with Golden State into a six-year free-agent contract from the Grizzlies worth nearly $34 million in 2004, was inactive.


ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • adidas Youth Memphis Grizzlies Zach Randolph#50 Road Navy Replica JerseyShop

  • adidas Men's Golden State Warriors Steph Curry #30 Road Royal Replica JerseyPrice: $70.00 Shop

NBA News