Mitch Richmond scored nine of his 27 points in a 15-4 fourth-quar-ter surge, leading the Golden State Warriors over the San Antonio Spurs 109-106 Wednesday night for a 2-1 lead in their playoff series.
Sticking with a lineup employing four guards that was successful in Game 2, the Warriors shot 57 percent and won their second straight from the Midwest Division champions. Chris Mullin added 22 points, including a final free throw with 16.9 seconds left that forced the Spurs to attempt 3-point baskets for a tie.Game 4 in the best-of-5 series is scheduled for Friday night at the Oakland Coliseum Arena.
With the score tied at 85, the Warriors outscored the Spurs 15-4 over a 41/2-minute span, taking a 100-89 lead when Richmond hit a 3-pointer as the 24-second clock expired with 6:37 to play. Sarunas Marciulionis, who had 21 points off the bench, had four of them in the run.
The Warriors led 104-93 with 5:08 to play before the Spurs scored eight straight points, pulling to 104-101 on a layup by David Robinson with 1:48 remaining. San Antonio held Golden State scoreless for a 3:40 span.
Tim Hardaway, who had 22 points, hit two free throws with 1:28 left that were matched by Sean Elliott's two six seconds later, making it 106-103.
Richmond, freed by a pick, then hit an 18-footer with 1:03 to play for a 108-103 lead. Paul Pressey hit a 3-pointer making it 108-106 with 45 seconds left.
After Richmond was called for an offensive foul, giving the Spurs a chance to tie, Robinson, who had 27 points, missed a short jumper.
Mullin was fouled on the rebound and made the second of two free throws with 16.1 seconds to play. Rod Strickland, Pressey and Robinson missed 3-pointers in the final seconds.
Celtics 112, Pacers 105
At Indianapolis, Boston picked the right time to snap a five-game losing streak at Market Square Arena, beating the Indiana Pacers to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Kevin McHale scored 16 of his 22 points in the second quarter when Boston took the lead for good. The Celtics, who have been eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs the past two years, can wrap up the best-of-5 series with a victory on Friday night.
A fifth game, if necessary, would be Sunday at the Boston Garden.