Four takeaways from the Warriors’ loss to the Hornets

Peninsula Premier Admin

Draymond Green’s technical fouls doomed the Steph Curry-less Warriors in their 102-100 loss to the Hornets in Charlotte Saturday night.

Here are four takeaways from the game.

Steph Curry was a late scratch: Minutes before tipoff, Curry was a late scratch because he was not feeling well. His absence was not coronavirus related, but an update on his health was not made available immediately after the game.

Curry wasn’t feeling well during his usual warm-up routine and met with Charlotte’s team doctors (because Golden State was on the road), then the Warriors’ coaching staff and trainers. All decided it was best for Curry not to play.

“We’ll see how he’s doing tomorrow,” said head coach Steve Kerr.

Curry’s absence — his first of the season — was felt mostly beyond the arc, where the Warriors went just 13-for-39 on 3-point attempts. This was also the team’s lowest scoring total since a Jan. 28 loss to the Suns.

The last 10 seconds: After giving up a double-digit lead late in their loss to the Magic Friday, the Warriors seemed to be on track to grind out a win Saturday before Green’s ejection gave the Hornets the opening they needed to steal the win.

Green, the Warriors’ emotional leader, became irate when the referee awarded Charlotte a timeout as Green and Hornets forward Gordon Hayward wrestled for a loose ball. Green screamed at the official and was assessed two technicals, which triggered an ejection and gave the Hornets two free throws and possession while they were down 100-98 with 9.3 seconds remaining.

Hornet’s guard Terry Rozier then made both foul shots to tie the game and drained a 20-foot pullup jumper at the buzzer to win the game. This was a devastating way to lose. Golden State’s coaches and players were especially upset considering they had tried to call a timeout before Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball stole the ball from Brad Wanamaker on the previous possession.

“In my estimation, that should be another jump ball,” Kerr said. “As for the technical, Draymond can’t do that. He knows that he made a terrible mistake.”

Green regretted his mistake in the locker room after the game.

“He said it was his fault. He took ownership,” said forward Eric Paschall. “He’s a great leader and competitor. You can’t really be mad at that. He wants to win.”

Kelly Oubre Jr.’s February: Midway through the third quarter, Oubre drained a 3-pointer from the top of the arc, confidently held his follow through and blew a kiss to the Hornets bench. The shot was key in the Warriors climbing back from an early deficit and eventually taking a 10-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. Oubre finished with 25 points on 9-of-19 shooting (4-of-9 from 3-point range) and six rebounds. Unfortunately, the Warriors squandered his performance. Still, Oubre averaged 19.9 points on 48.7% shooting (46.7% from 3-point range) in February — a dramatic improvement after a season-opening shooting slump saw him make just 37.2% of his shots. Oubre’s turnaround is a boost for the Warriors, especially as they try to find some consistency in the final days before the All-Star break.

Wiseman and Looney could return Tuesday: The Warriors are optimistic centers James Wiseman and Kevon Looney could return for Tuesday’s game against the Knicks. “It’s a real possibility,” Kerr said. “They’re both doing well.” Getting both back would be a boost to a frontcourt that has been without a true center for the last 10 games. Wiseman has been sidelined with a sprained left wrist since a Jan. 30 win over the Pistons, and Looney has been out since spraining his left ankle in a Feb. 2 loss to the Celtics. Kerr acknowledged that their returns will lead to some difficult decisions regarding the rotation. Forwards Juan Toscano-Anderson and Eric Paschall, who have stepped up in small-ball lineups, could find themselves in reduced roles or out of the rotation entirely.

Contributed by local news sources

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