Hornets Make Golden Statement With 3rd-Straight Win
Bridges, Ball, Rozier All Record 20+ PTS, Add ‘Winning Play’ in Final Minute
The Charlotte Hornets played undoubtedly their best, most balanced game of the 2021-22 season so far on Sunday night at Spectrum Center. That effort was rewarded with a thrilling 106-102 win over the Golden State Warriors, the best team in the NBA right now.
Easily Charlotte’s most competitive affair of the year, both sides were knotted at 102-102 when Miles Bridges sank a go-ahead hook shot with 44 seconds left. After two missed Golden State free throws, LaMelo Ball corralled the rebound, but the Warriors would force a tie-up later on in the possession. Squaring off with Draymond Green at center court, Terry Rozier timed the jump-ball tap perfectly back to Jalen McDaniels, later draining the game-icing free throws.
“We were just sticking with,” said Rozier after the win. “It was a good game the whole way through. We wanted to be the harder-playing team. We wanted to be sure that everyone in here comes in and feels us. [Golden State] is the number one defensive team in the league and very physical. We wanted to give that same thing back. I’m happy we pulled out the win. I told [Mason Plumlee] I’ll start doing the jump balls now.”
Bridges (22), Ball (21) and Rozier (20) each crossed the 20-point threshold, with all of Rozier’s coming in the second half. Andrew Wiggins led Golden State with a game-high 28 points and Charlotte native Steph Curry added 24 points on just 7-of-22 shooting (3-of-13 from three).
“I think we were just locked in defensively,” stated Hornets Head Coach James Borrego, whose team allowed just 14 fourth-quarter points. “Our ball pressure, our hands, our activity, our rebounding, even though I thought we gave up too many second-chance points. I thought our group was fantastic on Steph. They were locked in, gave him nothing. I thought in generally, we made it very tough on him tonight.”
Much like the win in Brooklyn last month, this victory over the juggernaut Warriors – who lost for just the second time this season and first time in regulation – is an exciting glimpse into what this Hornets team can become when everything is clicking. Beating a championship-contending squad like this does nothing but breed confidence.
Said Borrego, “We’re trying to become a more consistent team in our effort, our execution and tonight was a good example of that. We took a step forward tonight in that regard.” Added Ball, “Even coming in today, I felt like we were going to win. I saw the Carolina Panthers were playing the Arizona Cardinals and they were 8-1 or something. I was like, ‘This has kind of lined up.’ I felt like we might win, too and so, we won. Keep it going.”
The Hornets will now have two full days off before hosting the Washington Wizards this Wednesday night, November 17, beginning at 7 PM ET.