The Golden State Warriors simply outplayed the visibly-tired New Orleans Hornets Monday night, winning 93-72. Golden State was lead by 30 points from point guard Stephen Curry, who also racked up six three-pointers.
The Hornets shot 33.7% from the field, including just 3-17 from outside the arc, on a night in which they were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. The Warriors, who have a 38-30 record and are a game-and-a-half ahead of the Houston Rockets for sixth place in the West, shot 50%, including 10 of 19 three-pointers.
“We just didn’t hit the shots,” said Hornets forward Ryan Anderson in the locker room after the game. “They’re a veteran team and they have some guys that used to play here and kind of know our system. Maybe that took us out of our rhythm down the stretch.”
“Going into the playoffs and going late into the season, we need to be playing at our best,” said Warriors forward Carl Landry. “A lot of teams peak early and finish not-so great. I think we’re doing a good job of peaking right now.”
Curry started the game strong, shooting perfect for the first 6:00 of the contest and scoring 10 points in the first quarter alone. New Orleans’ defense finally ramped up towards the end of the quarter, and the Hornets kept Golden State scoreless for the last five minutes of the period.
Golden State dominated the second quarter, outscoring the Hornets 26-14. New Orleans was held to 31.8% shooting in the quarter, and committed seven turnovers thanks to forced passes and bad shot selection. Golden State center Andrew Bogut blocked Hornets big man Robin Lopez during back-to-back possessions as New Orleans attempted to run the same play in the paint. They trailed the Warriors 45-36 going into the break.
“The second quarter was 26-14 and the fourth quarter was 24-11,” said Hornets head coach Monty Williams when asked about the loss. “We won the first and third [quarters], but for whatever reason, we lost the second and fourth. We took a lot of bad shots. We took time getting by guys. We didn’t establish an inside game tonight. I think we did a good job stretching, but they got some good shots tonight.”
The Hornets gathered momentum coming out of the break, but their headway was quickly stifled by Golden State’s Klay Thompson, who scored seven of his 13 in the third quarter, and by Curry, who continued to harry New Orleans from the outside.
Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis both combined for 15 points in the third, but the Warriors never let their opponents get closer than seven.
Golden State pulled away for good in the final period, the Hornets allowing them 52.6% shooting from the field, and their defense holding the Bees to 23.8% field goal shooting. The Hornets did not score for the last 5:50 of the game.
"For us, it'll be a good measure of where our hearts are at and how we compete going into next season,” said Hornets guard Roger Mason after the game.
The Hornets (22-46) will face the Boston Celtics (36-29) on Wednesday night at home.
Eric Gordon was sidelined in tonight’s contest. Gordon, who averages 16.7 points per game, played last night against the Timberwolves, and is unable to compete in back-to-back games because of his recovering knee.
Hornets forward Ryan Anderson scored 21 points, nine rebounds, one assist and one steal.
The Hornets recently acquired both Terrel Harris and Lou Amundson. Harris scored two points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks, during 28:18 minutes of play. Amundson scored two points, pulled in three rebounds, had one block, and dished out one assist during 12:42 minutes of play.