Warriors, Draymond Green get their revenge on Hornets after 2-point loss in Charlotte

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Rick Bonnell
·3 min read
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Golden State Warrior Draymond Green said he wanted revenge against the Charlotte Hornets. He certainly delivered.

A week earlier Green blew up in Charlotte, was charged with two technical fouls in the last 10 seconds, and was ejected just before the Hornets’ two-point victory. He vowed payback, saying, “I gave them one they shouldn’t have.”

Green delivered in a 130-121 Warriors victory with a triple-double and a career-high 19 assists.

The Hornets got 25 points off the bench from Malik Monk. Terry Rozier added 24 points and LaMelo Ball 22.

Observations off the game:

The Warriors and the rim became close friends

The Warriors had an absurd nine dunks in the first quarter -- the most any Hornets team has allowed in a quarter in 20 years, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

By the end of that quarter, the Warriors had 30 points in the lane to the Hornets’ eight. Golden State shot 77% from the field an 16 of the Warriors’ 17 baskets in the first quarter were assisted.

Malik Monk continues to thrive off the bench

Monk had 13 first-half points and made three of six 3-pointers. Monk has become the Hornets’ dynamic bench scorer. He came into this game scoring 20 or more points in three of his previous four games.

The Hornets so needed a boost off the bench, because leading scorer Gordon Hayward did little. He had six points by halftime and didn’t score a basket until there were about three minutes left in the second quarter.

Cody Zeller out with a hip contusion

The Hornets lost starting center Cody Zeller to a left hip contusion he suffered in the second half against the Phoenix Suns.

Zeller was initially listed as questionable to play, then was downgraded to doubtful after morning shootaround and out pre-game. Coach James Borrego doesn’t anticipate this keeping Zeller out the rest of West Coast trip.

“I hope to get him back against Sacramento (on Sunday),” Borrego said. “I don’t see this as a lingering thing.”

Start in small ball with Cody Martin

With Zeller out, Borrego chose to go with a small-ball starting lineup. P.J. Washington, at 6-foot-7, started at center, and Borrego inserted Cody Martin into the starting lineup.

This was the Hornets’ ninth different starting lineup this season. Martin made three previous Hornets starts as a rookie last season. Power forward Washington has played lots of small-ball center this season, but hadn’t previously started at center.

Starting this way kept Bismack Biyombo in the second unit. Biyombo started 16 games at center early this season while Zeller recovered from a broken finger. Biyombo played only 12 minutes Friday.

A long string of core injuries

The Hornets have now had 11 consecutive games missing a key player. That’s a string of injuries and COVID-19 protocols that have caused Zeller, Graham, P.J. Washington, Gordon Hayward and Rozier to all miss one or more games.

Borrego said earlier this week that it’s possible Graham’s sore left knee could keep him out for the remainder of the six-game road trip prior to the All-Star break. The injuries have stepped up opportunity for Monk and Jalen McDaniels, who went from the G-League to averaging 21 minutes.

The Hornets still haven’t gotten Caleb Martin back from COVID-19 protocols.