OAKLAND, Calif. -- David Lee dominated his matchup with No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis, and the Golden State Warriors overcame Stephen Curry's foul trouble to beat the New Orleans Hornets 98-88 Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
Wrapping up a five-game homestand with a fourth win, the Warriors (43-32) needed the win to retain a one-game advantage over Houston (42-33) for the sixth playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Rockets also won Wednesday, beating the Sacramento Kings.
Lee led the Warriors with 23 points and 16 rebounds, none bigger than an offensive board over the taller Davis that produced two free throws with 4:27 remaining, allowing Golden State to short-circuit a four-point New Orleans run that had narrowed the Hornets' deficit to 84-78.
Lee also had a jumper and a right-handed hook over Davis as the Warriors scored 16 of the fourth quarter's first 24 points to extend what had been a tenuous, 74-70 advantage.
Curry, who began the fourth quarter with four fouls, buried a 3-pointer on Golden State's first possession of the period to increase the Warriors' lead to seven. However, Curry collided with rival point guard Greivis Vasquez on an inbounds play on the Hornets' next possession, drawing a fifth foul and earning a trip back to the bench.
Vasquez made two free throws to cut the gap to five, but the Hornets then missed their next six shots, a span during which Jarrett Jack, Lee and Carl Landry countered with Warriors hoops to create a 83-72 margin with 7:52 to go.
Brian Roberts ended the New Orleans drought with a driving hoop, and an Al-Farouq Aminu 20-footer eventually got the visitors within 84-78 with 5:14 remaining, but Lee then outjumped Davis for an Andrew Bogut miss, his final rebound of the night, to produce two key points as the Warriors were able to hold on.
Curry backed Lee with 20 points to complement nine assists. Jack was an invaluable asset off the bench with his backcourt mate in foul trouble, contributing 19 points and eight assists to the win.
Eric Gordon, getting 10 points at the free-throw line, led New Orleans (26-49) with 21 points. Robin Lopez had 17 points, Vasquez 15 and Aminu 14 for the Hornets, who tipped off a five-game road trip. Vasquez added nine assists.
Davis missed nine of his 11 shots and totaled just six points to go with nine rebounds.
After leading by as many as 11 in the first quarter and trailing by as many as nine in the second, the Hornets had themselves in a position to win entering the fourth quarter, down just 74-70.
Gordon and Aminu had eight points apiece in the third period for the Hornets, who rallied from a 51-42 halftime deficit to within one late in the third period.
A 3-pointer by Jack reopened a four-point gap for the Warriors, which they took into the final 12 minutes.
The Warriors used a hot-shooting second quarter to overcome a slow start en route to a 51-42 halftime advantage.
The Hornets led by as many as 11 in the first 12 minutes as the Warriors missed 15 of their first 22 shots. Golden State was so cold, it even failed to score on five offensive rebounds, missing four follow shots and committing a turnover.
But when Curry finally got on track in the second quarter, so did the home team.
Curry had missed his first five shots, including four 3-pointers, before finally connecting from beyond the arc at the 7:02 mark of the second period to get the Warriors, down 11 early in the quarter, within 32-31.
Three minutes later, the league leader in successful 3-pointers hit again from deep, capping a 20-4 Warriors flurry that produced a 44-36 lead.
Lee had eight of his 13 first-half points in the game-changing run.
NOTES: The last time Golden State swept a season series from the Hornets, it was 1995-96, the Hornets were still in Charlotte and Dell Curry, Stephen's father, averaged 19.5 points per game in the two losses. ... The Hornets not only finish the season with six of eight on the road, but also catch no break in the level of competition, with six of the eight opponents currently jockeying for playoff position. ... Speaking to the media before the game, Warriors coach Mark Jackson campaigned for Jack, acquired from New Orleans in the offseason, for the NBA's Sixth Man Award. "Jamal Crawford has had a great year and J.R. Smith has had a great year, but Jarrett Jack is the Sixth Man of the Year," he said. "What he has brought to this basketball team, what he has meant to us in the locker room and on the floor and with closing ballgames and making big plays ... he's been a steal for us." ... Hornets coach Monty Williams offered a warning to the Warriors' present and future opponents. "They're one of the few teams that I believe are complete," he said. ... The Warriors' Curry (240) and Klay Thompson (192) are four shy of breaking the all-time NBA record for 3-pointers in a season by teammates. Orlando's Dennis Scott and Nick Anderson combined for 435 3s in the 1995-96 season. ... The Hornets and Warriors were rumored to have discussed an Gordon-for-Thompson trade at the February deadline. It's interesting to note their stats since then have been relatively similar (before Wednesday's game): Gordon 16.8 points per game on 40.1 percent shooting; Thompson 15.2 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting.