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CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Cavaliers remembered the way Jason Richardson embarrassed Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Carlos Boozer during All-Star weekend.
The Carlos Boozer Archive
Boozer had 19 points, a game-high 14 rebounds and a career-high seven assists as the Cavaliers won consecutive games for the first time this season, beating Richardson and the Golden State Warriors 124-103 Tuesday night.
Richardson showed off at Boozer's expense last month during the rookie-sophomore game by bouncing the ball off Boozer's head, then hitting a 3-pointer as time expired.
The Golden State guard said before the game that he apologized to Boozer during All-Star weekend, but the Cavaliers clearly didn't forget.
"They wanted to win for Boozer," coach Keith Smart said.
Ricky Davis scored 28 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 23 as Cleveland shot 52 percent and played aggressively all the way, outrebounding the Warriors 54-40.
"I appreciate it," Boozer said. "We definitely needed another win. It's great to get two in a row."
Richardson didn't speak with reporters after the game.
Before the game there was a lot of hype in the local newspapers about what might happen in the rematch between Boozer and Richardson. The Cleveland Plain Dealer repeated a comment the displeased Boozer made immediately after the rookie-sophomore game, "That was no class, but I'm not worried about it."
The Plain Dealer also ran Richardson's reply, "It's not a no-class act. It was streetball, and he should know that. But maybe he doesn't since he's from Alaska."
The Plain Dealer and the News-Herald, which covers several Cleveland suburbs, both reported that Richardson said he tried to talk to Boozer about the incident but was snubbed.
"When I tried to talk to him, he wouldn't say anything to me," Richardson told Golden State beat writers, according to the News-Herald. "I tried it once. I'm not going to kiss his (butt). That's it."
When the Plain Dealer and the News-Herald asked Boozer about the rematch, both papers reported that Boozer wouldn't be drawn into a controversy.
"I'm not commenting on that," Boozer told the News-Herald. "I'm not thinking about that. That's an incident that happened. I'm not going to build it up. We're past that. We're bigger men than that. We're mature about it. Everything is fine. We're looking forward to playing against each other."
"'Booz' is so far beyond this," Smart told the Plain Dealer. "He's going to play basketball and not get caught up in trying to retaliate."
Boozer retaliated with one of his best all-around games in his brief NBA career. Besides posting his 16th double-double of the season, he had a career-high seven assists with no turnovers, a steal and a blocked shot.
After the game, Boozer said the issue was dead and he wasn't mad about it. When the News-Herald asked why, Boozer replied, "Because I'm a professional and I don't need to let things like that bother me. I'm a grown man. If he wants to see me, he can see me. If not, I don't care."
Boozer's teammates appreciated his maturity.
"Everyone wanted Boozer to go out there and do something (to Richardson), but he went out there with the right approach," Cavs forward Jumaine Jones told the Plain Dealer after the game. "He played hard and got a victory."
"He made a statement that (All-Star Weekend) was over and he moved on," Smart said. "He understood that the game was about our team and not about him personally."
The Cavaliers led most of the way and took over in the third quarter when Ilgauskas started an 11-3 run with a no-look flip pass over his head to Davis, who slammed it home.
That sparked Davis, who hit his next four jumpers - including two 3-pointers - for an 88-77 lead late in the third.
The lethargic Warriors missed their first six shots in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers expanded their lead.
"There had been a lot of trash talking, at least between a couple of guys," said Antawn Jamison, who led Golden State with 23 points. "So we knew they were going to come out with a lot of energy."
Golden State began a five-game road trip that includes games against Boston, Philadelphia and New Jersey.
"The next five games are going to be very difficult," Warriors coach Eric Musselman said. "We're not going to talk about the playoffs, but talk about playing well."
Golden State fell 3 1/2 games behind Houston for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Gilbert Arenas had 21 points and Richardson scored 17 of his 20 in the first half.
Ilgauskas had 10 rebounds. Davis added 11 assists.
Cleveland opened a 97-80 lead with just over eight minutes left. The Warriors fell apart after that, missing on several quick 3-pointers.
The Cavaliers opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run, but Golden State tied it at 74 with 5:23 left on four straight points from Troy Murphy.
Darius Miles gave Richardson a little payback, too. He was charged with a flagrant foul for grabbing Richardson's shoulder and knocking him to the floor on a fastbreak.
Richardson made one of two free throws for a 75-74 lead with less than five minutes left in the third quarter - the Warriors' first lead since the first quarter.
It didn't last long.
Davis took over the game, taking the Cavaliers' next five shots and hitting all of them.
"I was trying to bury them. They were pulling in close - just trying to take over," Davis said.
The Cavaliers led by as many as 13 points in the first half, putting together a 12-2 run that included a pair of slams from Davis.
The Warriors closed the margin to 60-59 by halftime, led by Richardson, who was 4-for-5 from 3-point range.
Ilgauskas scored 15 as Cleveland tied a season high with 36 first-quarter points.
Wizards 95, Trail Blazers 91
At Portland, Ore., with former teammate Scottie Pippen watching in street clothes from the Trail Blazers bench, Michael Jordan scored 25 points as Washington held off a late rally.
The final regular-season meeting between Jordan and Pippen, who played together on the Chicago Bulls teams that won six NBA championships in the 1990s, was derailed when Pippen went on the injured list following arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
Jordan has said he plans to retire after this season. The only way they would face each other again is if the Wizards and Trail Blazers meet in the NBA Finals.
The Wizards, a half-game behind Milwaukee for the final playoff spot in the East, snapped a three-game skid. Jordan added seven assists, and Jerry Stackhouse scored 24 points.
Lakers 108, Hawks 91
At Atlanta, Kobe Bryant scored 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter as Los Angeles pulled away.
Shaquille O'Neal scored 31 points in 32 minutes and was able to rest the entire fourth quarter.
Bryant turned the sellout crowd of 19,280 in his favor, prompting fans to chant "MVP! MVP!" as he hit four consecutive 3-pointers to open a 99-80 lead with 4:59 remaining. He added a team-high 10 rebounds and six assists.
Timberwolves 108, Heat 91
At Minneapolis, Kevin Garnett and Wally Szczerbiak scored 26 points apiece as Minnesota won its fourth straight and moved 20 games over .500.
Garnett added eight rebounds and eight assists, ending his franchise-best streak of 19 straight double-doubles. He leads the NBA with 60 double-doubles this season.
Miami has lost 10 of 12.
Spurs 107, Bucks 94
At San Antonio, Tim Duncan scored 31 points and Speedy Claxton had 12 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds to lead San Antonio over Milwaukee.
Spurs center David Robinson, who plans to retire after this season, was honored at halftime and after the game for his 13 years with the team. He scored 10 points.
Claxton came off the bench to replace starting point guard Tony Parker, who left with a sprained right wrist at the end of the first quarter. The third-year guard finished with career highs in assists and rebounds.
Malik Rose added 18 points for the Spurs, who have already clinched a playoff spot. Sam Cassell led the Bucks with 19 points.