The first three quarters of this game don’t deserve a lot of space in this recap. The Hornets started the game pretty well and built up a nice first quarter lead against a surprisingly depleted Warriors team. They held the Warriors to 15 first quarter points while grinding out 24 first quarter points of their own. The tables were turned in a second quarter that was dominated by Kelly Oubre and the Warriors. It made for a two point Warriors lead heading into the half after Terry Rozier banked in a half court runner at the buzzer.
The teams yo-yoed in the third quarter and finished the quarter tied, which set up a rather eventful fourth quarter.
The teams finally found some offense as the fourth quarter got underway. The Warriors got a couple triples from bench players while LaMelo Ball finally started to find the bottom of the net for the Hornets. The Warriors were able to maintain that for most of the quarter, but the Hornets decided to revert back to throwing the ball to the Warriors every other possession. They set a season high for turnovers about halfway through the fourth quarter. James Borrego decided to scrap the “give the ball to the Warriors” strategy at that point and replaced it with the “Terry Rozier will make every shot he takes” strategy, and it worked. He scored 20 points in the fourth quarter alone and all of the Hornets last 10 points.
His final 3-pointer pulled the Hornets within two and set up one of the wildest finishes to a basketball game you’ll ever see.
The Warriors missed a three but grabbed their own offensive rebound. Brad Wanamaker held the ball out near midcourt and waited for the Hornets to foul him, but LaMelo Ball and PJ Washington grabbed the ball instead and forced a jump ball. LaMelo Ball tipped the ball to Gordon Hayward, who fell to the floor, but the Hornets were granted a timeout before the Warriors could do anything about it. Draymond Green was so furious about the call that he received not one, but two technical fouls with 9.3 seconds to go. Terry Rozier hit one free throw for each tech, turning what would have been a desperation final possession for the Hornets into a game winning opportunity. Rozier took the inbound, lost the ball towards the Warriors sideline, and lofted up a heavily contested jumper as the buzzer sounded. It rattled in, and the Hornets won.
Rozier finished with 36 points for his fourth consecutive 30 point game. PJ Washington played well in his first game back with 15 points of his own.
The Hornets will now hit the road for a six game road trip to take them into the All Star break.