Rozier Scores 36 PTS, Drains Buzzer-Beater to Stun Warriors in Wild Finish
Charlotte Overcomes Turnovers Issues, Closes Shortened Homestand With Crazy Victory
One of the most unbelievable endings to any NBA game this season transpired on Saturday night in Charlotte, as Terry Rozier’s buzzer-beating bucket sealed a miraculous 102-100 victory for the hometown Hornets against the Golden State Warriors.
Rozier ended the contest with a game-high 36 points (20 in the fourth quarter) on 12-of-19 shooting (8-of-11 from three), three rebounds and four assists in the victory. Rozier is now the only NBA player this season with multiple 20-point fourth quarters and just the third player in franchise history to record at least four consecutive 30-point performances (Kemba Walker and Glen Rice, both done twice).
Leading by one with under eight minutes left in the fourth following a Rozier three, Golden State used an 9-0 run over the next two-and-a-half minutes to open up an 89-79 advantage. Charlotte continued to battle though, closing the gap to two on a Rozier triple at the 1:18 mark. Kelly Oubre Jr. responded with a three on the other end for the Warriors, but Rozier returned serve with yet another three-ball.
Then with 20 seconds remaining, LaMelo Ball and Brad Wanamaker got tied up on a rebound, leading to a jumpball at center court. Gordon Hayward ended up gaining possession in a mad scramble, although in the ensuing chaos, Draymond Green picked up two technicals and an automatic ejection. Rozier knocked down both free throws to tie the game and then on the ensuing inbounds, maneuvered to the left corner and launched a high-arching shot over Juan Toscano-Anderson that rolled through the rim right after the final horn sounded.
“I made a couple shots early in the fourth quarter and it just felt like an ocean,” said Rozier afterwards. “I just felt relaxed and confident with all my shots going in after that. I got to knock down two important free throws after the technical and the rest was history, game.”
“Big win, huge win for us,” added Coach Borrego. “I’ve never seen a game end that way in that type of fashion. I’m not sure we’ll ever see that again. I give credit to our guys, I give credit to Terry Rozier. He just willed us to another victory. He was fantastic, but everybody pitched in. In this league, you have to find ways to win and we found a way to win.”
PJ Washington returned from a two-game absence to finish with 15 points (3-of-5 from three) and five rebounds, while Gordon Hayward (13 points) and Mile Bridges (10) also scored in double figures. Jalen McDaniels chipped in nine points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench and LaMelo Ball had seven points, a game-high seven assists and two steals.
Oubre Jr. led the Warriors with 25 points on 9-of-19 shooting and six rebounds in the loss. Andrew Wiggins (19), Eric Paschall (16), Wanamaker (14) and Damion Lee (14) also crossed the 10-point plateau for a Golden State squad that unexpectedly lost the NBA’s second-leading scorer Steph Curry just minutes before tipoff (illness).
Charlotte overcame a season-high 25 turnovers leading to a whopping 32 Golden State points. The Hornets also won the rebounding battle by five (44-39) and finished the night shooting 49% and 20-of-40 from three-point range (50%).
The start of a six-game road trip now awaits the Hornets on Monday, Feb. 22 when they square off against the Utah Jazz beginning at 9 PM EST in Salt Lake City, UT. Catch all the action on Fox Sports Southeast, the Fox Sports GO app and WFNZ 610 AM or 102.5 FM