SAN FRANCISCO — Tuesday night’s game against the Charlotte Hornets should’ve been a game the Warriors walked away with an easy win.
But nothing is easy for this Warriors team, still playing without Andrew Wiggins and Stephen Curry.
The Warriors squandered an 18-point second-half lead to let the Hornets tie it in the fourth before pulling out a 110-105 win over the Hornets.
Klay Thompson scored a team-high 29 points, Jordan Poole added 24 and Jonathan Kuminga came in clutch in the fourth to help the Warriors win back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 2 and 3.
The Warriors opened the second half with a 5-0 run to go up by 18 and force the Hornets to take a timeout and regroup.
Charlotte went on a 17-4 run early in the fourth, capped off by a P.J. Washington 3, to make it 96-95.
Later in the fourth, Gordon Hayward hit a 3 to knot the game up at 101. But Kuminga stepped up in a big way on both ends of the court. His two-handed slam put the Warriors up six with 21 seconds left and came off a feed from Poole who carved through the lane.
Kuminga scored eight of his 14 points in the fourth.
The Warriors overcame a shoddy shooting night, going a paltry 8-of-37 from 3, to win a game they should’ve won in a more commanding fashion. They have Thompson to thank. He made five of the Warriors’ eight shots from deep, finishing the night with a team-high 29 points, five rebounds and four assists. Meanwhile, the rest of the squad went 3-for-25 from downtown.
“This was a night where we couldn’t put the ball in the basket to save our life,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We were getting some good looks, which is one of those nights where the ball wasn’t going in.”
The Hornets didn’t shoot the 3-ball much better, finishing 10-for-38 from behind the 3-point line.
The Hornets’ scoring was more evenly distributed, with five Charlotte players finishing in double figure scoring. LaMelo Ball led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
The Warriors shot the ball well in the first quarter, converting at a 54.2% clip. But after making six of their first 10 attempts from beyond the arc, Golden State went uncharacteristically cold from deep, missing 17 consecutive 3s from the end of the first to late in the third. Thompson ended the drought, draining a 3 with at the 1:22 mark of the third to put Golden State up 89-75.
Though Curry is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, Andrew Wiggins’ return is on the horizon. He’s been cleared to come back, but is out sick and expected to miss Wednesday’s game against the Jazz, too. Meanwhile, the Warriors (17-18) will hope to make the necessary adjustments to not give a team like the Hornets a fighting chance like they did Tuesday.