Warriors Squash Hornets, 93-72

Stephen Curry continued his hot shooting 3-point shooting, and the Warriors held their opponent to below 80 points for the 3rd time in 5 games, as they cruised to another blowout victory, 93-72, Monday night. The game, a back-t0-back after an impressive win in Houston, began with both teams on fire. The Warriors hit 6 of their first 9 shots and the Hornets an even better 7-10. But the teams cooled quickly and the first quarter finished with New Orleans leading just 22-19, as Golden State didn’t score in the final 4:57 of the period. After falling behind 32-26 in the 2nd quarter, the Warriors used a 19-4 run in the half’s final 9 minutes to go up 45-36. That included a 13-2 run in the final 5 minutes.

Full Game Highlights (via @GumbyHighlights):

The teams traded blows in the 3rd quarter, with the Warriors lead never falling below 7, but the Hornets stayed close at just 8 back after 36 minutes of play. After an even first 6 minutes of the 4th quarter brought the score to 80-72, the Warriors went on another closeout run, scoring the game’s final 13 points in last 5:50 of the game. The Warriors defense held strong yet again, as the Warriors have now played some of the best defense in the league in the month of March, holding opponents to less than 93 points per game, and just .988 points per possession. In the last 5 games, it’s an even more impressive 84.6 ppg and .942 ppp. League average for points per possession is 1.057 and Indiana is league best at .988 for the season. That shows the kind of defense the Warriors have been playing recently. It was the first time that the Warriors have held opponents to 78 or less in consecutive games since the 1985-86 season, as they held the Rockets and Hornets to a combined 33% from the field over the back-to-back.

Some notes from the game:

-Curry finished with 30 points, his 10th game of 25+ points since the All-Star break. He’s now averaging 25.6 in the season’s 2nd half. His 6 made 3-pointers on 9 attempts was the 4th time in 5 games that he has hit at least 5, and the Warriors have gone 4-0 in those games. In the lone game against Chicago, Curry failed to make a 3 for the first time since the season-opener at Phoenix, going 0-5. Over the last 5 games, Curry is still shooting 22 for 42 (.524) from beyond the arc.

-David Lee added yet another 20-point, 10-rebound double double. He remains the leader in both 20-10 and classic double-doubles (45) on the season. He finished the game 7-9 from the field and 6-6 on FTs with 4 assists and 3 turnovers. It was one of his most efficient games of the season.

-Andrew Bogut contributed an all-around game, finishing with 8 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks while going 4-6 from the field. His only two misses on the night came on a series of 3 shots the he finished with a tap-in. The big man played a total of 63+ minutes in the back-to-back, finishing with 20 points, 21 rebounds, 5 assists and 7 blocks, going 8-14 from the field and 4-4 from the line, arguably his best consecutive games of the season.

-Klay Thompson had another off shooting night, going 5-15 overall, but he did manage to hit 3 of 6 attempts from long range and finish with a total of 13 points. He now sits at 39.6% from 3-point distance on the season due to an impressive 46.8% month of March.

-Harrison Barnes continues to find his confidence off the dribble, attacking the rim for yet another impressive dunk. As has been common recently, Barnes use and overall impact were minimal despite starting the game at small forward. He finished the game with 7 points and 2 rebounds, going 2-4 from the field and 3-4 from the free throw line in 21 minutes.

-Jarrett Jack played 30 minutes and finished with 9 points and 5 assists, but the Warriors bench again contributed minimally, finishing with just 15 of the Warriors 93 points. Landry continued his stretch of rather unimpressive games and is averaging season lows in minutes (17), points (7.2), and rebounds (4.2), in the month of March. He’s still been a solid contributor off the bench, but with Bogut’s return to health, his role has decreased a lot.

-For the Hornets, Ryan Anderson led them in scoring with 21 on 7-19 shooting off the bench. Greivis Vasquez added a 14-point, 9 assist night and rookie Anthony Davis was impressive with 16 points and 7 rebounds in 31 minutes.

-The Warriors next game is tonight against the San Antonio Spurs, who they haven’t beat in The Alamo City since February of 1997. The Spurs recently clinched a playoff spot and own a comfortable 5.5 game lead over Memphis for the Southwest Division, but they’re not taking it easy yet. Oklahoma City remains just 2 games back of the Spurs in the West standings. San Antonio will be without Tony Parker, but they’ve gone 5-2 with him out the past 7 games, including an impressive win over the Thunder.

-Golden State has a chance to reach 10 games over .500 for the first time since February 24th after a win over the Timberwolves, when they improved to 33-23. A win would go a long way towards securing the 6th seed in the West. Houston plays at Utah and the Lakers don’t play until Friday. Follow the link for a refresher on the standings.

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