Hornets-Warriors Preview

Following one of the most successful road trips in team history,

the Golden State Warriors are eager to keep proving they’re one of

the elite teams in the Western Conference.

The Warriors will try to avoid losing their edge during a

home-heavy stretch that begins Tuesday night against the

conference’s last-place team, the New Orleans Hornets.

After losing to Orlando on Friday, Golden State (16-8) bounced

back the next day with a 115-93 victory over Atlanta to cap a 6-1

trip. The Warriors won six games on a road trip for the first time

in franchise history and finished above .500 on a trek of seven

games or longer for the first time in 42 years.

“It was important for us to do that to show that we’re for real

and we’re going to be here for the long haul,” coach Mark Jackson

said.

David Lee had his seventh consecutive game Saturday with at

least 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Stephen Curry had 18 points,

11 assists and eight boards.

“It was a big win for us,” Curry said. “We’re excited to get

home and looking forward to Tuesday when we play New Orleans.

Hopefully, we can keep the momentum rolling.

The Warriors will play eight of their next 11 at Oracle Arena

and would appear to have a good chance to get that stretch off to a

winning start as the Hornets (5-18) arrive in Oakland having lost

16 of 18 and seven in a row.

They missed an opportunity to end that skid Sunday after

Portland rookie Damian Lillard hit a 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds

left to put the Trail Blazers up by three. New Orleans curiously

didn’t let Ryan Anderson try for a career high-tying eighth

3-pointer and instead had him pass to Lance Thomas for an alley-oop

layup to end a 95-94 defeat.

“You need .04 to get the shot off, so we just ran a play for

execution. There was not time for us to get a shot off, with them

grabbing and holding Ryan it was going to be tough for him to get a

shot off, so we were working on execution,” coach Monty Williams

said. “It was a situation where we worked on something we would

need in the future.”

Anderson finished with 26 points. Greivis Vasquez had 23 points

and 11 assists, but No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis was the

only other player in double figures. Davis had 15 points, his best

showing in four games since returning from an ankle injury.

Davis, who has been playing exclusively off the bench since

coming back, will next try to help the Hornets avoid a season-high

eighth straight defeat by leading them to their third win in a row

over the Warriors.

Curry, though, missed both of those games because of an ankle

injury, and Lee had to sit out an 83-81 loss April 24 with a

strained groin and stress reaction.

Two New Orleans players who scored 20 points in a 102-87 win at

Golden State on March 28 now play for the Warriors. Jarrett Jack is

averaging 13.8 points and 5.3 assists off the bench over the last

10 games, while Carl Landry scored 19 points as a reserve

Saturday.

The status of Golden State’s starting center Festus Ezeli is

unknown for this game because of a bruised knee, and Andris

Biedrins could start in his place again.