The Warriors got contributions up and down the roster, including the best game in Festus Ezeli’s rookie season with a career high 12 points. Klay Thompson also put on a shooting display with 24 first half points, ending up with 29 total. Curry, a game time decision after he went through pre-game warmups without any discomfort, started off slow but provided some additional scoring with the absence of David Lee, who missed the game after spraining his ankle in the loss to the Spurs on Friday. But, despite the Dubs good shooting, the Hornets kept pace and appeared to be fresher down the stretch. The length of the Hornets also gave GSW problems, most evident with the repetitive post ups of Curry by Amino in the 3rd quarter.
The bench played a huge part in keeping this game close. Richard Jefferson, buried on the bench for much of the season due to strong play from Carl Landry and Draymond Green, put in 11 points in the 2nd quarter capped by a reverse dunk over the whole Hornets team. They needed every point to keep pace with the Hornets who continued to shoot above 50% for a large stretch of the game.
In the end, the Warriors got the clutch shot from the former Hornet, Jarrett Jack. With the game wavering, Jack took the inbounds pass from Curry, turned the corner on Gravis Vasquez and made one his patented floaters in the lane to give the Dubs the lead for good. Some free throw shooting down the stretch and the Dubs finally snapped their losing streak which had reached 3 games.The Hornets definitely showed how they had been winners of six of seven games. The length and speed of the front line gave the Warriors some trouble. Anthony Davis lived up to the hype with plays all over the floor, causing havoc by blocking shots and changing numerous others while hitting a few mid-range jumpers sprinkled in with some dunks. The recent return of Eric Gordon has also rejuvenated the young Hornets. He got to the rim with ease using his strength against Warriors defenders, but seemed to struggle getting his shot off due to the length of Thompson, who has put in solid defensive performances the last two games.Turning Point: Trailing 102-99 with about six minutes left, the Dubs locked down defensively and forced a 24 second violation on Jason Smith. From that point on (5:56 left in the 4th), they outscored the Hornets 17-11, with one of the buckets being a layup by Roger Mason, Jr. as time expired.
Going Forward: The Warriors shot a decent percentage but were settling for jumpers when they didn’t need to. In addition, the ongoing issue of Barnes disappearing remains a mystery. They started the game out with a postup of him on Amino, he scored, and they never really tried to keep him involved. His scoring is going to be needed if David Lee missed any more time, especially with games against the Clippers and Thunder looming next week.