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Warriors Wrap

Sonics Silenced

After losing a heartbreaker in overtime to Phoenix and a manhandling by the Dallas Mavericks early last week, Golden State faced a daunting challenge in Seattle. The Northwest division leading Sonics awaited the arrival of a Golden State team that is a bastion of inconsistency. Despite a disappointing season, the Warriors provided a rare golden moment last Wednesday in a performance that gave diehard Warrior fans hope for the future.

Nursing a three game-losing streak, Golden State didn't exactly seem primed for an upset against the scintillating Sonics. Ray Allen led the way for the Sonics in the first quarter posting 12-points in the first quarter. Jason Richardson contributed 6-points for the Warriors with some generous contributions from Adonal Foyle and Speedy Claxton. The second quarter began with Golden State down, 31-26. Ray Allen continued his hot shooting ways in extending the Sonics lead to as much as 12 as the Warriors struggled to find offensive consistency. A late run keyed by Speedy Claxton and Jason Richardson cut the lead to 58-52 at halftime.

A trio of treys from Derek Fisher, two from Mike Dunleavy, and a stellar offensive performance from Jason Richardson turned the tide with the Warriors assuming a ten-point lead by the end of the third quarter. Seattle's Ronald Murray and Ray Lewis cut this lead to three with a series of driving layups and jump shots. However, the Warriors were unwilling to concede this evening as Derek Fisher hit another key three pointer and the rest of his cohorts continued to hit key shots down the stretch leading to the end of Golden State's three-game loss streak and the upset of a quality team.

The All-Star break provided an opportunity for the Warriors to savor this rare win and gather themselves for the remainder of the season. Unlike the Sonics, the Warriors do not find themselves jockeying for playoff position, rather jockeying for lottery position. While theoretically the Warriors could run the table and maybe steal the final playoff position, it would be a remarkable feat to say the least.

While no Warriors attended this past weekend's All Star festivities, one can't help but notice the consistent All-Star performances of Golden State's Jason Richardson. JR averages 22.6 points per game, almost 4 assists per game, shoots just under .299 from behind the arc, and has a field goal percentage of .446. JR's consistent performances have been one of the few bright spots for the Warriors this season.