Yes, Stephen Curry wasn’t playing. Sure, they may go back to their losing ways after this. Was it a fluke? Who cares. Here the Hornets are, your new world champions! It doesn’t work that way you say? Whatever.
The Hornets came into Golden State on a Friday night ready to party.
There was of course doubt. The first quarter looked as if Klay Thompson was prepping for one of his annual 50 point games. The amount of open shots he was getting was absurd. Plenty of times I thought this would be your typical Hornets matchup, where they build our hope up and then it all comes crashing down in the fourth quarter right before our very eyes.
But no. This time was different. I saw fight, I saw a will to win a basketball game against a top tier opponent. I saw a team step up to the plate and complete the task at hand. I saw a team willing to fight for loose balls, and willing to help out on defense. They looked like they could actually, successfully, run an NBA offense.
Dwight Howard stepped up big tonight. He exposed them for lacking a dominant big man, and nearly finished with a triple double, going for 29 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists.
Kemba Walker struggled to get his shot to drop throughout the game, but in the fourth quarter it finally did, and it propelled Charlotte to a victory. Kemba knocked down several clutch 3-pointers and was very active on defense which lead the way for Charlotte down the stretch. Ultimately Kemba would finish with 16 points, five assists and five rebounds.
Nicolas Batum gave the Hornets a very solid performance: 15 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Not too bad. Could this be the resurgence game for Batum? I doubt it, but it was nice to see him active again.
Golden State’s struggles on the offensive end was thanks to none other than Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Tonight will be a great resume builder for him when people are wondering why he’s still in the league. He can show them this defensive performance against Thompson and Kevin Durant.
Frank Kaminsky even had one of those games that he sometimes he has, where he looks like the actual ninth pick of the NBA draft.
This game was fun, and a reminder to what the Hornets can be. Hopefully they can catch some consistency and carry this win into their matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers on New Years eve.