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Preview: Hornets round out West Coast trip, look to sweep season series with Warriors

The first Hornets-Warriors game went well for Charlotte. Let’s hope for a repeat.

Golden State Warriors v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

What: Charlotte Hornets (9-25) at Golden State Warriors (16-18)

When: 10:00 PM EST

Where: Chase Center; San Francisco, Calif.

How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

Outfitting: Hornets — Association (white); Warriors — Classic (blue)

Injury report:

CHA: LaMelo Ball (shoulder strain), PROBABLE; Cody Martin (knee surgery), OUT; Nick Richards (ankle sprain), OUT; Dennis Smith Jr. (ankle sprain), QUESTIONABLE.

GSW: Stephen Curry (shoulder), OUT; Draymond Green (foot soreness), OUT; JaMychal Green (illness), OUT; Andre Iguodala (hip), OUT; Andrew Wiggins (groin), OUT.

When the Charlotte Hornets beat the Golden State Warriors in overtime to move to 3-3 on Oct. 29, life without LaMelo Ball appeared to be a lot rosier than it’s shown to be since then. Tonight, the Hornets hope Ball will fight through a shoulder strain suffered late in the game on Monday as they look to sweep the season series with the defending champs.

PJ Washington scored a season-high 31 points in the win over the Warriors in October, hauling in seven rebounds and shooting 13-23 from the field in an impressive display of shot-making. Gordon Hayward followed him up with 23 points and four assists in what is still one of Charlotte’s best wins of the season.

It was announced on Sunday that Stephen Curry is slated to miss “at least two more weeks” with a shoulder injury. Jordan Poole has started at point guard in Curry’s stead since he went down on Dec. 14, and the Warriors have amassed a 2-4 record over that stretch. Golden State has been notoriously bad when Curry sits throughout his career, and there’s been little sign of change this season. Hopefully, Charlotte can get their own star point guard healthy in order to capitalize tonight.

Late in Monday night’s game against Portland, Ball appeared to injure his shoulder, and he could be seen flexing it and stretching it out for the remainder of the evening. It didn’t seem to be a significant injury in the moment, but with how Charlotte’s season has gone health-wise, it’s smart to be cautious. Even if Ball sits, there’s a chance Dennis Smith Jr. returns to the lineup after a lengthy absence, though his impact could be minimized as he works his way back into playing shape.

Thankfully, this will be the last Hornets game of the 2022-23 season that tips off later than 9:00 PM Eastern time. For those who have braved the storm into the wee hours of the night during the last week-and-a-half, props to you. Your prize is in the mail!

Let’s see if we get Round 2 of the Mark Williams Experience again this evening with Richards ruled out. Williams tallied nine points and six boards in 16 minutes while Kai Jones and JT Thor both did not play. If the rookie can continue his strong play, he could quickly work his way into the rotation given how desperately Steve Clifford could use a center of his ilk.