Basketball: Hornets' buzzing late charge shocks Warriors

Dwight Howard of the Charlotte Hornets reacts after a play against the Orlando Magic during their game at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Dec 4, 2017.
Dwight Howard of the Charlotte Hornets reacts after a play against the Orlando Magic during their game at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Dec 4, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA • The team with the fewest road victories in the National Basketball Association (NBA) stood up to the club with the second-most wins anywhere on Friday night.

That can happen when you have the best big man on the court.

Dwight Howard highlighted a brilliant all-round game with a basket and two assists during an 11-0 run early in the fourth quarter that propelled the Charlotte Hornets to a stunning 111-100 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

The win was just the third of the season on the road for the Hornets (13-22), who were beaten 101-87 at home by the Warriors (28-8) earlier this month.

"Hopefully, this is a start of a good trip for us and it's a wake-up call for us to see how we can play," Hornets interim coach Stephen Silas said.

The Hornets took a 79-75 lead into the fourth quarter, then were up 84-81 before Howard, who had lost his last nine meetings with the Warriors, hit a jumper with 8min 49sec remaining to trigger the critical burst.

Reserves Frank Kaminsky and Jeremy Lamb took it from there, with Kaminsky burying a three-pointer off a Howard assist and Lamb turning a steal into a layup for one of his two baskets.

The Warriors conceded 46 points in the paint, and an even more damaging 18 turnovers that led to 32 Charlotte points.

"You can't have that in a basketball game, I don't care who's out there on the court," Warriors star Kevin Durant said of the Golden State miscues.

Howard had 29 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and two steals for the Hornets, who were opening a four-game tour of California. Kaminsky (14) and Lamb (11) were also among six Hornets scoring in double figures.

Durant had 27 points for the Warriors, who had beaten the Hornets in seven straight meetings.

"We've lost two times on this homestand. It seemed both times we were rudderless," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

The brightest note of the day for the Warriors was word that Stephen Curry is expected to play on Saturday (today, Singapore time) against the Memphis Grizzlies, after missing 11 games with a sprained ankle.

"We're going to be a different team when he comes back," Durant added.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 31, 2017, with the headline 'Hornets' buzzing late charge shocks Warriors'. Print Edition | Subscribe