Although the Warriors got the win, it was a bit of an odd night. The only blemish on the Warriors’ otherwise flawless game was the number of turnovers that really killed them. They also had no chance on the glass without Andrew Bogut to box out Anthony Davis. The Warriors showed that they can win when it’s important, and they now have a real center. Tonight, their defense held another team to under 80, winning the ball game by more than 20 points.
In the first quarter of this game, the Warriors opened with some bad plays such as turnovers and bad defense. The Hornets were getting really good shots. Harrison Barnes’ early hammer dunk was a sign that he was learning from the veterans. It was an even pace in the first quarter, until the 4:30 mark. From that point on, the Warriors didn’t score in the quarter again. The Hornets, a la Ryan Anderson had no problem scoring. At the end of the quarter, it was 22-19 Hornets.
Following the first, the Warriors continued to shoot poorly in the early-going of the second quarter. The Hornets, on the other hand, started to come alive, taking a 6 point lead. When Mark Jackson brought the starters back in, the flow of the game began to shift, and the Warriors got back into the game. A good defensive shift by Klay Thompson helped the Warriors to a 19-4 run to close the half. At the end, the Warriors lead 45-36.
To start the second half, the Warriors and the Hornets traded baskets, but the Hornets were able to cut the lead to 7 multiple times. Again, Klay Thompson hit some big shots to bail the Warriors out, and the Hornets were unable to regain the lead. Some excellent shooting from the backcourt lead to a lot of good opportunities, but the Warriors just could not capitalize. At the end of the quarter, the Warriors lead 69-61.
In the early fourth, the Hornets put a lot of pressure down on the Warriors, who never relinquished the lead. Despite some scary moments, the Warriors always gave the ball to Andrew Bogut, who was able to capitalize with a hook shot or a nice pass. His defense also bailed the Warriors out down the stretch, resulting in another huge win. The Warriors improve to 39-30. On a night that had the feel of a Hornets win, the Warriors destroyed all chances of that realization.
My Three Stars:
1. Stephen Curry – 30 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, +19
2. Andrew Bogut – 8 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 blocks, 1 steal, +24
3. David Lee – 20 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 7/9 from the field, 6/6 from the line, +25