Curry, Warriors pull away for victory over struggling Hornets

Associated Press
3/18/2013 10:57:21 PM
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NEW ORLEANS -- Stephen Curry's effortless-looking 3-pointer from 29 feet away symbolized how right things have gone for Golden State during the first two games of a meaningful late-season road trip.

Looking to lead his team into the playoffs, Curry scored 30 points and the Warriors won easily for the second straight night, 93-72 over the struggling New Orleans Hornets on Monday.

"This is a game that validates last night, how big a win that was for us to start the road trip," Curry said, alluding to Golden State's 30-point victory at Houston on Sunday. "If you drop an egg tonight it means nothing, so -- a big win for us."

David Lee had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Klay Thompson scored 13 points for the Warriors (39-30), who continued to solidify their post-season credentials with 13 games remaining.

"We're a good team. We're focused on a mission and we never lost confidence in the down part of the year that we had the last couple months," Curry said, referring to a 3-10 stretch spanning from early February to early March. "We feel like when we're on top of our game and locked in and everybody's healthy and ready to go, we're a team to be reckoned with and match up with anybody."

After scoring 29 points at Houston, Curry made 10 of his 19 field goal attempts in New Orleans, hitting six 3s on nine attempts.

Andrew Bogut anchored the Warriors' defence with four blocks and nine rebounds to go with his eight points.

"We understood what we had to do coming in here," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "That didn't mean we were going to win, but if we were going to lose, we were going to lose with energy, effort and efficiency. We did those things and came up with a big win.

"I'm proud of my guys," Jackson added, satisfied with how his players have responded to a mid-season swoon in which it looked like they might fade from contention. "We're not going anywhere."

Ryan Anderson had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Hornets (22-46), who came in tied with Phoenix for the Western Conference's worst record and lost their fourth straight game. Anthony Davis added 16 points, while Greivis Vasquez had 14 points and nine assists. The Hornets, who lost in Minnesota on Sunday, were playing without guard Eric Gordon, who has rested his right knee on the second of back-to-back games this season.

"We took a lot of bad shots," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "It's a challenge to try to manufacture your offence with guys who are trying their best to make shots when we don't have a guy to get it done, get the ball and go to the basket. (Golden State) had a number of guys who could do that."

Curry twice hit 3s to give Golden State 10-point leads in the third quarter, and the Warriors led by as many as 13 when Bogut's jump hook made it 59-46.

The Hornets used a 7-2 run highlighted by Davis' alley-oop jam and Anderson's 3 to pull back to 62-55, but the Warriors pushed their lead back up to 13 when Curry drained his 29-footer.

"It didn't know where I was," Curry said. "I just felt confident enough that I could take it and make it."

New Orleans looked to make one last push when Vasquez's 3 cut it to 80-72 with 5:50 left, then Lee and Bogut each scored four points and Curry added his final 3 from the right corner during a 13-0 run to close out the game.

"We gave them too many open looks," Anderson said. "They're a very good-shooting team and you can't let them get loose. They hit some big shots when we tried to cut the lead several times. We just couldn't get over the hump."

Golden State was a bit shaky early, missing eight straight to end the first period, as well as its first shot of the second. The Hornets took advantage, going ahead 24-19 when Anderson scored eight straight points on a step-back jumper, four free throws and a reverse layup.

New Orleans led 34-30 on Vasquez's floater with 5:48 left in the half, but the Hornets then stumbled offensively while Golden State began to look more like its usual high-scoring self. Jarrett Jack's hesitation move in the lane lured Vasquez into a foul on a made floater, igniting a 15-2 run to close the quarter. Curry made two jumpers during the spurt, Thompson added a 3 and Lee scored twice inside, the second basket putting the Warriors ahead 45-36 at halftime.

Notes: The Warriors had never before won back-to-back road games by 20 or more points apiece. ... Golden State improved to 13-2 when holding an opponent below 40 per cent shooting. ... The Warriors wrap up their three-game road trip Wednesday night at San Antonio. ... On the same day the Hornets signed him to a second, 10-day contract, guard Terrell Harris played a season-high 28 minutes, finishing with a season highs in points (4) and rebounds (5), along with two blocked shots, an assist and a steal. His previous season high for minutes was 12 when he was with Miami earlier this season. ... The Hornets play the second game of their six-game homestand Wednesday night against Boston.

Stephen Curry (Photo: Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)


(Photo: Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
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