What a first half. That Zaza Pachulia buzzer-beater was just unbelievable and when Klay Thompson shot eight three-pointers in a row, so great! And what about Ian Clark dunking on Kemba Walker - highlight play of the night!
None of that is true, of course.
There’s a lot of talk about fake news and “alternative facts” lately. But we here at Golden State of Mind pride ourselves on being honest. Which is why we’re here to tell you that East Coast games are the worst games of the season. And we admit that many of us were not able to watch the first half of this game, due to the start time. I’m sure we missed something amazing, but who knows? We sure don’t!
So we ain't got no time for the first three quarters -- let's take a look at the main highlight, then cut to the chase.
Play of the night so far: Durant chasedown spike block of a Kemba Walker layup leads to Curry 3 pic.twitter.com/CGsUOHpV7f— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 26, 2017
The Warriors headed into the final period down 80-75 after a big third quarter for the Hornets. Walker had 21 and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was somehow 6-for-10 to that point.
But Draymond Green set the winning tone early on in the fourth by driving to the bucket to draw contact at the rim instead of forcing the issue from the outside. And from there, things started to click; Klay Thompson drew contact to get to the line, the Warriors locked in on defense and Shaun Livingston caught the Charlotte defense sleeping with a beautiful cross-court pass to James Michael McAdoo for a dunk and an 83-82 lead with about nine minutes left.
Ultimately, that aggression on offense was what helped the Warriors claw their way to a win as a newly inspired Kevin Durant took things into his own hands to get himself free throw attempts. Stephen Curry sealed the deal with a step back three from the right wing to put the Warriors up 102-96 with about three minutes left.
The fourth quarter tells the story: Durant finished with a game-high 33 points after scoring 16 in the fourth while Walker led the Hornets with 26 for the game after scoring just 5 points on 2-for-4 shooting in the fourth. The Warriors shot 14-for-15 from the line in the fourth while showing the ability to exploit matchups to their advantage. However, although they did enough to keep the Hornets at arm's length and avoid a second consecutive loss for the first time since forever, there's no point reading into this too much — it’s a long season, road lapses happen, and they’re still in first place.
Just keep enjoying the ride and the return home for a game against the L.A. Clippers on Saturday after two days of rest.