Photo credit: @SportingGreenSF
By Jerry Feitelberg
Hoping to get back in the win column against the host Charlotte Hornets, the Golden State Warriors saw the chance for a win go down the drain when Draymond Green could not control himself late in the game.
The Warriors led by two, 100-98, with 9.3 seconds left in the game. The Hornets forced a jump ball when they tied up Brad Wanamaker trying to make a drive to the hoop. The taller Hornets had the advantage as the ball went to Gordon Hayward. Green tied up Hayward and was expecting a whistle for another jump ball.
The referees blew the whistle. Not for the jump ball, but for a timeout called by Hornets coach James Borrego. Green went ballistic. The Warriors’ players and coaching staff tried to get him to stop yelling. He didn’t listen. He was whistled for two technical fouls, and also had to leave the game.
The Hornets’ Terry Rozier made both free throws to tie the game, and the Hornets had control of the ball. Rozier hit a jumper from the left corner just as the buzzer sounded to send the Warriors down to defeat, 102-100, at the Spectrum Center.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said, “Draymond can’t do that.” Green plays with a ton of passion, and he has a fierce desire to win. He cannot let his temper get the better of him, especially in a close game.
The Warriors did not have the superstar Steph Curry in the lineup Saturday night. Curry did not feel well during warmups before the game. He was helped off the court. He tested negative for Covid-19.
Mychal Mulder started in place of Curry at guard for the Warriors. The Hornets won the first quarter, 24-15. The Warriors, as they have done a few times this season, started slowly. They picked up the second quarter’s pace as they outscored the Hornets 32-21 to finish the low-scoring first half leading 47-45.
Neither team played well in the third quarter. The Hornets were able to tie the Warriors at the end of the period 69-69. It would be a nail-biter the rest of the way. The Warriors led 100-95 with 53 seconds left. Rozier knocked down a three to make it 100-98. The Hornets, as described above, scored the last four points of the game to win 102-100.
Game Notes and Stats: With the loss, the Warriors are 16-15 for the year. The Hornets improved to 14-15.
Kelly Oubre, Jr. led the Warriors’ attack. Oubre, who has improved his overall game in the last few weeks, had 25 points, six rebounds, was 9-for-19 from the floor, and connected on four threes. Andrew Wiggins had 19, Eric Paschall had 16, while Damion Lee and Brad Wanamaker each had 14.
Terry Rozier led the Hornets with 35 points, and 20 came in the fourth quarter. Rozier was 8-for-11 from three-point range. P.J. Washington had 15, Gordon Hayward had 13, and Miles Bridges added 10. LaMelo Ball had seven points and seven assists.
Up Next: The Warriors travel to New York City, aka the Big Apple, to face the Knicks Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Warriors will be trying to avenge New York’s loss on January 21st at the Chase Center. The game will be starting at 4:30 pm PT.