Steph Curry comes home as red-hot Warriors visit Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets might be back in a groove. That’s one way to draw some attention.
Now comes Sunday night’s visit from the Golden State Warriors, a team that almost always draws a big buzz when coming to Charlotte, N.C.
That’s because Warriors star guard Stephen Curry is from Charlotte. And as a Western Conference team, it’s just a once-a-season stopover.
Perhaps Curry and the Warriors, who are the only team in the league with 100 or more points in every game, are just heating up. Golden State carries a seven-game winning streak and an NBA-best 11-1 record overall.
“Hopefully, we can pack that momentum with us,” said Curry, who wore a Davidson College basketball sweatshirt for interviews following the most-recent game. His alma mater is just a few miles from Charlotte. “We all know I wouldn’t be here if not for those three amazing years at Davidson.”
But this will be a bit of a changeup for the Warriors, who are coming off an eight-game homestand. That included a triumph against Charlotte.
Curry has done his part, pouring in 40 points in Friday night’s conquest of the Chicago Bulls. Curry has reached the 40-point mark in three games this season, aided by nine 3-pointers in the most recent game.
Each outcome in the current win streak has been decided by at least 13 points.
“Now we’ve got to go out on the road, and it’s going to be a little tougher,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr, whose team plays four road games in six days. “A lot of them have been tough games for a long period of time. … Our defense kind of wore on people, and that’s a great sign.”
The Hornets were on a five-game losing streak until winning twice in a three-night span. They began a four-game homestand by rallying to defeat the New York Knicks 104-96 on Friday night.
A comeback from a 16-point hole gave the home crowd something to cheer about amid a sea of Knicks fans in the building. More of that atmosphere is bound to be present for Curry’s arrival.
That suits the Hornets just fine.
“I feel like we just turned it up on defense, and when we’re playing great defense, our offense is unstoppable,” Hornets forward Miles Bridges said. “If we get out in transition, I don’t think there’s a team that can run with us.”
Charlotte coach James Borrego keeps stressing that the Hornets are best when they set a tone with the defense. That tends to lead to more chances to crank up the transition attack for potentially easier opportunities at the offensive end.
“We found our way because of our defense,” Borrego said.
The Hornets tend to begin each game in their base defense. Then the key tends to be making adjustments throughout the game, something that Borrego has seen with mixed results.
Bridges has been one of the sparks when things go well for the Hornets.
“Players, when they’re making threes at a high level, sometimes they want to settle for threes,” Borrego said. “But when he gets to the rim, he’s a problem (for opponents). I want him to get downhill and get to the rim. The rest will take care of itself. He’s learning and this is just part of the growth.”