Richardson hits nine 3s, Magic top Bucks 99-94
Richardson scored 28 of his season-high 31 points in the second half and made nine 3-pointers to lead the Orlando Magic to a 99-94 victory over the Bucks on Saturday night.
A brash spectator behind Orlando's bench shouted, "You're washed up!" at Richardson during the first quarter. He went 0 for 3 and played the fewest minutes of the rest of the starters.
"I'm a competitor," the 31-year-old Richardson said. "I love when people talk trash to me."
But this fan's taunt rubbed Richardson the wrong way.
"When you go past the line where I thought the guy did," he said, "I had to show the guy I wasn't."
Richardson carried the criticism into the locker room at halftime and mulled it over.
"I thought about what he said," Richardson said. "I said, 'You know what? Just go out there and just play. I got in a zone. The shots started falling. I don't mind trash talking, but that was the one that got to me."
Richardson had 16 of his 19 points up to that point, including four 3s, in the third quarter to keep Orlando in the game.
It was the fourth quarter that he really shredded the defense.
Richardson unleashed a barrage of four 3-pointers that helped Orlando erase a 10-point deficit and pull ahead. His ninth 3, and eighth out of nine attempts in the second half, gave Orlando a 94-88 lead with 2:07 to go.
The Bucks never got closer than three the rest of the way.
"We had a nice 10-point lead and we just kind of lost it a little bit," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "We lost Richardson and he hurt us, killed us."
Richardson finished 9 for 11 from 3-point range. He tied Nicolas Batum of the Portland Trail Blazers for the most made 3s in the NBA this season. Batum did it against the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 4.
"People think that once you turn a certain age, you don't have it anymore. You don't have the certain style of play you used to play," Richardson said. "I'm still young, so I had to show the guy I still had energy."
Dwight Howard was held below his average in points and rebounds, but Richardson made up for it.
"Offensively, he really was the only one who had it going in the second half, which was good," Howard said. "That was amazing. He's amazing."
Richardson jumper with 18.7 seconds left pulled the Magic within six at 49-43 at halftime. Milwaukee shot 40.8 percent to Orlando's 39.4 percent. JJ Redick came off the bench to spark the Magic's offense with 12 points. Reserve Mike Dunleavy had 12 points for the Bucks, whose lead was never more than nine.
Drew Gooden and the Bucks limited Howard to 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Howard finished 5 of 15 from the floor. He came in averaging 20.9 points and an NBA-leading 15.4 rebounds, but was stymied by Gooden's defense.
"I don't think he took me out of my game," Howard said of Gooden's defense on him. "I missed a lot of shots that I normally don't miss. They weren't doing anything special."
Gooden scored 21 points and Ersan Ilyasova added 17 for the Bucks.
Beno Udrih came off the bench and had six points during a 13-0 run midway through the fourth quarter for Milwaukee. Gooden added two open jumpers, including one that went not only way above Howard, but also the shot clock on the backboard, before swishing through the net.
Udrih's 14-foot jumper gave Milwaukee its biggest lead at 88-78 with 5:45 left. But that was it for Milwaukee.
Hedo Turkoglu had 19 points for Orlando, which beat the Bucks for the 11th time in 13 games.
Brandon Jennings, had 24 points and eight assists in the Bucks' 113-112 overtime win at Cleveland on Friday, a night after not being named a reserve for the All-Star game. He finished with seven points, five assists and five rebounds against the Magic.
The hometown crowd roared when Jennings' name was announced in the starting lineup. Bucks fans seemed willing, at least for now, to not be bothered by his comments that he's "doing my homework" on big-market teams — saying that during an interview with ESPN.com on Thursday. He's under contract through next season.
The Bucks tried to limit Howard's effectiveness with a help-out defense and strong rebounding.
Gooden guarded Howard with support. Whenever Orlando's All-Star center backed Gooden down in the paint, another Bucks player would swipe and poke at the ball. Howard had two turnovers, five points and five rebounds.
The Bucks grabbed 12 offensive rebounds and 16 defensive, while the Magic had 17, including 15 defensive boards.
Notes: After Saturday night's game, the Bucks and Magic play three more times in their next 10 games. ... Bucks G Shaun Livingston has attempted just two 3-pointers so far this season. He sank his first one — and eighth of his career — in the first quarter.
Last updated: 7:44 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012