Warriors beat Suns behind Jackson's triple-double

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Jason Richardson and Matt Barnes have seen the Golden State Warriors at their fleet-footed best plenty of times. Both were major contributors to some of the greatest moments in coach Don Nelson's second tenure with the club.

That fluid ball movement and quick scoring weren't such welcome sights now that they're wearing Phoenix uniforms, however.

Stephen Jackson had 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his first career triple-double, and the Warriors never trailed in a 124-112 victory over the Suns on Wednesday night.

Jamal Crawford scored 27 points, and 6-foot-5 power forward Kelenna Azubuike had 19 of his 25 in the first quarter for the Warriors, who started the game on a 17-2 run and never let the Suns get close.

Richardson and Barnes were key components of the Warriors' memorable playoff run in 2007, but Richardson was traded a few weeks after the eighth-seeded Warriors knocked off Dallas. His return with the Bobcats last season produced just 10 points on 2-of-9 shooting in Charlotte's 31-point loss.

"The Warriors did this to us last year when I was here with the Bobcats," said Richardson, who scored 24 points this time. "They're a team that plays well, and when they get it going, they really get it going. It's the foot on the pedal that they never let up."

Two nights after blowing a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter of an overtime loss to San Antonio, the Warriors showed they're learning from those mistakes while matching their season high with 13 3-pointers. Jackson and Maggette hit big shots to keep the lead in double digits throughout the second half, while Crawford finished off a stellar game with six assists and just one late turnover in 45 minutes.

After beating New Orleans on the road and narrowly losing to the Spurs in the past six days, the Warriors look sharper than they've been all season. Jackson, who clearly knew his stats in the final minutes, finished off his triple-double with an assist on Ronny Turiaf's open jumper with 3:47 to play.

"It shows signs of us growing and having confidence in each other," Jackson said. "It was fun to watch us play like that. We shared the ball probably the best we've shared it all year. That's what we've been looking for all season, and it's good to know we found it in time for us to make a run for the playoffs."

Two nights after the Suns blew out the hapless Sacramento Kings by 48 points, they retained none of that momentum -- a typical development in the veteran club's all-or-nothing season under coach Terry Porter. With atrocious defense, Phoenix lost for the sixth time in nine games.

"We just never really recovered from that first quarter," Porter said. "They just came out gave us a TKO punch. They were knocking down everything from the perimeter, hitting 3's. ... It concerns me, the level that we're playing at right now. We've got to get back to playing consistent basketball every night."

Despite his height disadvantage in the starting lineup, Azubuike clearly caused trouble for Phoenix in his matchup with 6-10 Amare Stoudemire, who didn't exactly get out on defense to challenge Azubuike's open 3-pointers that broke open the game early.

"It was wonderful, and if we can play like that every game, we're going to get some more wins here," Azubuike said. "[Stoudemire] is a great player, and I was just trying to make it tough on him. I'll do what I can if I've got to play that position again."

Shaquille O'Neal had 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting and 12 rebounds in the Suns' fourth straight loss at Oracle Arena, while Leandro Barbosa added several of his 20 points in garbage time. Steve Nash had 16 points and nine assists, and former Warriors forward Matt Barnes scored 10 points in his own homecoming.

Golden State opened with an electric 43-point first quarter, its highest-scoring period of the season. The Warriors hit five 3-pointers among their first six baskets and racked up 72 points by halftime.

Monta Ellis had his roughest outing since returning from his serious ankle injury seven games ago, scoring his only two points on free throws during 28 minutes of 0-for-7 shooting.

Barnes' production dipped last season with the Warriors after he failed to get a lucrative free-agent deal, and he signed with Phoenix last July, joining his sixth NBA club in six years.

The Suns and Warriors will finish the home-and-home series in Phoenix on Friday night. Golden State has lost six straight games in Arizona.

Game notes
Warriors G Marco Belinelli missed his 11th straight game with a sprained right ankle, but has begun working on his conditioning with hopes of returning to practice after the All-Star break. F Brandan Wright, who's been out for 13 games with a partially dislocated shoulder, isn't as far along in his rehab. ... Golden State hadn't cracked 40 points in a quarter all season. ... Golden State has scored at least 43 points three times in the first quarter of its four straight home wins over Phoenix.