The magic number now stands at three. Either three Warrior wins or Jazz/Laker losses, and the Warriors will clinch a playoff spot. The Jazz lost tonight and the Rockets won, but the Warriors were able to get the job done at home, outshining the Hornets 98-88. The only bad thing about tonight was that Klay Thompson struggled with just 8 points. He’s really going to have to finish it off strong.
David Lee finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds, and he looked tough and aggressive out there, like he actually wanted the Warriors to get closer to clinching a playoff spot. Klay Thompson had just 8 points, but Jarrett Jack stepped up in crunch time contributing 19 points. Curry started slow, but eventually finished with 20 points.
In the early going of this game, the Warriors started out decently well, but failed to take care of the ball, and play defense, of course. The Hornets jumped out in front of the Warriors for a lead of more than 5. The Warriors lumped, and the Hornets took a 28-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Curry, who hadn’t scored in the first, started hot in the second, helping his team get off to a huge run to take the lead. The Warriors lead 32-31, and Lee and Curry, who finished with 11 points in the second quarter, lead the way. The Warriors survived on that energy wave all the way through half time, where they had grabbed a 51-42 lead.
In the third quarter, the Warriors were really moving the ball well and their defense started to pick up. The only struggling Warrior was Klay Thompson who was 3/9 shooting at this point. Still, the Hornets continued to advance on the Warriors putting pressure. The lead floated at around 3, and occasionally dipped to 1. Other than that it was a very fast-paced and physical game.
In the fourth quarter, the Warriors were killing the Hornets with bench points, they opened a 9 point lead, and dwelled on it to close the game. They finished with a 10 point win, but the lead was up to 16 at some points. It was a tough win, but the Warriors got it done, are that much closer to clinching a spot.