The Hornets took down the league’s best team for their third straight win.
The Hornets came out with a very strong first quarter. LaMelo Ball knocked down four first quarter threes and a little Dirk fadeaway as part of a 15-point opening quarter. Otherwise, it was a mostly unspectacular quarter that featured no major runs or standout performances. The Hornets led by three heading into the second quarter.
A couple of bad shots from Terry Rozier on back to back possessions led to run out dunks for Jonathan Kuminga. A James Borrego settled things down in what became a defense oriented second quarter for a spell. Cody Martin scored a quick seven points on a top of a couple of 3-pointers from Gordon Hayward to help the Hornets build a small lead that was quickly wiped away by Warriors threes. Miles Bridges made a tough floater to give the Hornets the lead with less than two seconds in the half, but he inexplicitly fouled Kuminga during his half court heave attempt. Kuminga only hit one of the three free throws, making it a 57-57 game at the half.
Dell Curry accurately pointed out on the broadcast that neither team had found their rhythm as we made our way deep into the third quarter. Neither team strung together several baskets nor did either team build anything resembling a comfortable lead. They somehow managed to combine for 61 points in the quarter, but the game didn’t look as pretty as that score would suggest. Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre splashed back to back triples in the final 30 seconds, but Stephen Curry banked in a 37-foot heave at the buzzer (which seems to happen every game at this point) to put the Warriors up one heading into the fourth.
The Hornets got a steal early in the fourth quarter that led to a Kelly Oubre run out. He was nudged in the back on the layup. He gestured to the officials that he felt he was shoved, which resulted in a technical foul. He waved off the official after the call, which resulted in his second technical foul about one second later and his dismissal from the game.
Terry Rozier came alive in the fourth quarter and was just about the only semi-consistent offense that was working for the Hornets. The offense as a whole ground to a halt for both teams. The Warriors got a wide open dunk from Draymond Green to tie the game with 44 seconds to play. Miles Bridges muscled in for a hook shot to put the Hornets up two about five seconds later. Kevon Looney missed a pair of free throws on the ensuing Warriors possession. The Hornets could have iced the game with free throws, but they made it interesting. Rozier got tied up Draymond Green, but he won the jump ball at half court and eventually found the ball so he could ice the game with a pair of free throws.
Rozier scored all 20 of his points in the second half as the Hornets, and really both teams struggled for offense. The Hornets held the Warriors to just 14 fourth quarter points and played very sturdy defense all game long.
The three mentioned at the top of this recap accounted for most of the Hornets scoring, but they got some strong contributions of the bench from Kelly Oubre (10 points) and Cody Martin (12 points).
The Hornets get an extra day off before they host the Wizards on Wednesday.