Curry & Green lead the charge

Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors going up for a shot against Frank Kaminsky of the Charlotte Hornets at the Oracle Arena. The Warriors won the game 111-101, improving their season record to 32-2.
Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors going up for a shot against Frank Kaminsky of the Charlotte Hornets at the Oracle Arena. The Warriors won the game 111-101, improving their season record to 32-2.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Warriors extend home winning run to 35, Hornets lose a season-high 4 straight games

OAKLAND (California) • With Harrison Barnes back in the line-up and Stephen Curry able to go 32 minutes, the Golden State Warriors felt whole again on Monday.

That was not what their latest National Basketball Association (NBA) opponents needed to see.

Curry poured in 30 points in his most extensive effort in more than a week, and back-court mate Klay Thompson hit the two biggest shots of the night to ignite a third-quarter pull-away, helping the Warriors outlast the Charlotte Hornets 111-101.

Power forward Draymond Green recorded his third straight triple-double with 13 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists, as Golden State (32-2) took their home winning streak to 35, including 17 this season.

"He's playing at a very, very high level," Curry said of Green. "His consistency is just off the charts. It's amazing how he can impact the game."

A BIG INFLUENCE

He's playing at a very, very high level. His consistency is just off the charts. It's amazing how he can impact the game.

STEPHEN CURRY, on team-mate Draymond Green, who recorded a third straight triple double with 13 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists

Warriors interim coach Luke Walton had prepared for the game assuming Curry would sit it out after leaving Saturday's game with a bruised left shin.

THE STAR IS BACK

Having Steph out there makes it easier on everybody. It was a pleasant surprise.

KLAY THOMPSON, on Stephen Curry being passed fit to play against the Charlotte Hornets

Curry then tested himself in the warm-up and was cleared to play.

"It's nice having options," Walton said with a laugh, recalling how his team finished their last game, an overtime win over Denver, with just seven available players.

Seeking to avoid getting swept in the two-game season series for the second year in a row, the Hornets (17-17) clung within 66-65 in the fourth minute of the third quarter after an 11-4 run to open the second half.

However, Thompson countered immediately with 16- and 28-footers, the latter a three-pointer, to trigger an 18-4 burst that put the Warriors in command for good.

"Having Steph out there makes it easier on everybody," Thompson said of his sidekick, who played a total of just 14 minutes in the previous three games because of a calf injury. "It was a pleasant surprise."

Walton agreed, noting that the club prepared Shaun Livingston to be the starting point guard at the morning shoot-around.

But Curry was good to go and hit half of his 10 three-point attempts.

Thompson, who also went for 30 points, dropped in six of 11 from beyond the arc, as the game turned into a bit of a long-distance shooting contest between the teams with the second- and third-most three- point attempts this season.

The Warriors rarely lose those battles.

"Their record speaks for itself," said Hornets point guard Kemba Walker, who had 22 points.

"So many weapons, so many options."

Consistent with their league-leading 42.1 season percentage on three-pointers, the Warriors bombed in 15 of their 34 tries (44.1 per cent) from beyond the arc, outscoring Charlotte 45-21 on threes in the process.

Warriors back-up centre Marreese Speights recorded a season-high 15 points, and Barnes, playing for the first time since suffering an ankle injury on Nov 27, put up eight points in 20 minutes.

"We were very pleased on the offensive end, but not so much on the defensive end," said Walton, whose club shot 51.7 per cent overall.

"It's a long season. You're going to have (defensive) lapses."

Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb each scored 22 points for the Hornets, who have lost a season-high four straight games.

"We did do some good things, but we did a lot of things that we shouldn't have done as well," Walker said.

"We are short-handed, but we've got guys that are capable of playing big games as well.

"We do have to get better. We're in a tough stretch. We just have to be better."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2016, with the headline 'Curry & Green lead the charge'. Print Edition | Subscribe