Howard helps Hornets sting Warriors
OAKLAND, Calif. — The team with the fewest road victories in the NBA stood up to the club with the second-most wins anywhere Friday night.
That can happen when you have the best big man on the court.
Dwight Howard highlighted a brilliant all-around 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, who were beaten 101-87 at home by the Warriors 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 noted afterward. “We can actually play well on the road. Hopefully, we can carry that forward.”
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 8:49 remaining to trigger the critical burst.
Reserves Frank Kaminsky and Jeremy Lamb took it from there, with Kaminsky burying a 3-pointer off a Howard assist and Lamb turning a steal into a layup for one of his two baskets.
When Lamb converted a Howard pass into an interior score with 6:34 to go, the Hornets went up 95-81, and the Warriors never got appreciably closer the rest of the way.
“Eighteen turnovers. Thirty-two points,” Warriors star Kevin Durant said of the Golden State miscues that accounted for almost one-third of the Hornets’ offense. “You can’t have that in a basketball game, I don’t care who’s out there on the court.
“We gave them 32 points. We could have gotten up 18 shots if we’d kept the ball in our hands. That’s the way you have to look at it.”
Golden State’s ball-handling figures to improve as early as Saturday night, when Stephen Curry is expected to return from an 11-game absence. The Warriors will be hosting the Memphis Grizzlies on the second night of a back-to-back.
Howard had 29 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and two steals for the Hornets, who were opening a four-game tour of California. The double-double was his 20th of the season.
He went 10 of 15 from the field and made nine of his 12 foul shots, helping Charlotte gain a 23-12 edge in free throw points.
“He made every right play,” Silas gushed of Howard. “When he was able to score, he scored. When they double-teamed him and tried to take the ball out of his hands, he made the right play. He was great. I couldn’t take him out.”
Howard played the entire second half and a game-high 40 minutes.
Kaminsky (14) and Lamb (11) were also among six Hornets scoring in double figures. Kemba Walker, after a 2-of-12 start, had eight of his 16 points in the fourth quarter. Nicolas Batum added 15 points and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 12.
Kevin Durant buried four 3s among his 27 points for the Warriors, who had beaten the Hornets in seven straight meetings.
The loss was Golden State’s second among six consecutive home games. The Warriors were beaten 96-81 by Denver last week.
“We’ve lost two times on this homestand. It seemed both times we were rudderless,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr observed. “They got to the foul line 34 times and outrebounded us (47-43). They were great. They totally outplayed us.”
Klay Thompson, playing his 500th career game, totaled 24 points, all in the first three quarters, for Golden State. Draymond Green had a near-triple-double with 11 rebounds, 16 assists and eight points.
The Warriors were held to eight 3-pointers in 22 attempts.
NOTES: The Warriors fell to 9-2 in PG Stephen Curry’s absence with a sprained right ankle. ... Warriors coach Steve Kerr suffered the first loss of his career against Charlotte in eight meetings. ... The Warriors began the night with the best third-quarter point differential (plus-218) in the NBA. They were outscored 26-22 by the Hornets in the third and never caught up. ... Hornets C Dwight Howard’s 12 rebounds increased his career total to 12,521, the 19th most in NBA history. Howard is now just 25 behind Charles Barkley on the career list. ... The Hornets began their western swing tied with the New York Knicks for the fewest road games played this season (14) and fewest wins (two).’