By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors, in a dogfight with the Denver Nuggets for the best record in the Western Conference, and still seething from the officiating in the game against the Timberwolves, sent the Hornets down to their worst loss of the season 137-90. When the W’s played the Hornets in Charlotte earlier this year, the contest was close until the fourth quarter when the W’s shut down Kemba Walker and were able to pull away for the win.
The Warriors made sure that they would be in control as they led from start to finish. The W’s ended the first half leading 71-49. It was the fifteenth time this season that they put 70 or more points on the board in the first 24 minutes of the game. They continued to throttle the Hornet offense in the second half as they made sure that the Hornets would not be able to make a comeback.
The Warriors outscored the Hornets 34-23 in the third period and 32-18 in the fourth. The Warriors were able to rest their regulars, and the bench players were able to get significant minutes as the end of the regular season is nearing. The Warriors win 137-90.
Game Notes- DeMarcus Cousins was ejected from the game with 6:09 to play in the second quarter. The referees charged Cousins with a flagrant 2 foul when he hit Willy Herangomez’ head with a closed fist. Cousins scored 8 points and had 3 blocked shots.
Steph Curry connected on five threes in eight tries. For Steph, it was the eighth consecutive game that he made at least five threes. He now has made 335 3s which is second only to the 402 that he made during the 2015-2015 season.
Draymond Green has 15 technical fouls to his credit so far this year. If he gets one more, he will receive an automatic one-game suspension. He reached fifteen last year but made it to the end of the regular season without getting one. Hopefully, he will not get another in the six games left.
Hernangomez led Charlotte with 22 points. None of the Hornets’ starters were in double figures. The W’s held Kemba Walker, Miles Bridges, and Dwayne Bacon to nine points each. The other Hornet in double figures was Frank Kaminsky with 10.
With the win and Denver’s loss to the Washington Wizards, the W’s have a one-game lead in the race for the Western Conference crown. The Warriors clinched the Pacific Division for the fifth year in a row. Should they beat Denver on Tuesday night, the Warriors will have a two-game edge with five to play, and the win probably would guarantee them home-court advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs.
The Warriors had six players in double-figures. Steph led the team with 25. Klay Thompson had 24 and Klay made 6 threes. Quinn Cook, coming off the bench and getting playing time, knocked down 21. Cook connected on 5 threes. Jerebko had, Durant 11, and Draymond Green 10.
The Warriors shot 60.25 from the floor. They made 21 threes in 33 attempts. They outrebounded Charlotte 50-28. They recorded 41 assists on 53 made baskets. On defense, they had 8 steals and 10 blocked shots.
The game against the Nuggets on Tuesday is going to be a very important game for both teams. With a win, the W’s will have a two-game lead. If they lose, the teams will be tied for the best record. If the teams finish tied for the best record, various tiebreakers will be used to determine which squad gets to be the number one seed.
Game time Tuesday night is at 7:30. The A’s and Boston Red Sox are also playing and the parking lots will fill up early.