Hornets-Warriors Preview

The Associated Press

Stephen Curry put together another impressive shooting display in leading the Golden State Warriors to a lopsided win over the weekend.

He gave the New Orleans Hornets a taste of his deadly long-range shooting two weeks ago.

Curry looks to help the Warriors inch closer to a playoff berth by sweeping a season series from the Hornets for the first time in 17 years Wednesday night in Oakland.

Three nights after a disappointing home loss to Sacramento, Golden State (42-32) bounced back with a 125-98 win over Portland on Saturday. Curry got off to a fast start, scoring 13 first-quarter points while making all five shots, and he finished with 39 points on 14-of-22 shooting - 7 of 12 from 3-point range.

"We have confidence he can have nights like that, but it's still unbelievable to be out there when he gets in a groove like that," forward David Lee said.

Curry has a single-season franchise record of 236 3-pointers and is making 45.5 percent of his shots from beyond the arc - second-best in the NBA.

The Hornets (26-48) are one of the league's worst teams at defending the 3, allowing opponents to make 37.5 percent, and not surprisingly, were scorched by Curry in a 93-72 loss March 18. He scored 30 and hit 6 of 9 from long range.

The Warriors also took the first two matchups and are seeking their first season sweep since winning both meetings in 1995-96, when the Hornets were in Charlotte and in the Eastern Conference.

Golden State has made the playoffs once since then in 2007 but is closing in on another postseason berth.

"Our goal is to be playing our best basketball these next eight games to put ourselves in position to make the playoffs and to not just be that team that goes to the playoffs and gets swept," Curry said. "We have that bigger picture in mind. We're not looking in the rearview mirror."

Reserves Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry, both of whom played in New Orleans last season, have been key in the Warriors' playoff push. Jack is averaging 16.7 points and 9.0 assists against his former team this season, and Landry had a season-high 25 points and 10 rebounds Saturday.

"It's important to us to finish this race the right way," coach Mark Jackson said. "We don't want to hobble down the stretch, we want to play our brand of basketball and feel real good about what's next."

The Hornets are playing much better now than in the first couple months of the season, though the playoffs are no longer in the picture.

New Orleans defeated Cleveland 112-92 on Sunday to cap a 4-3 homestand, which also included victories over Boston, Memphis and Denver. Greivis Vasquez had 25 points and nine assists against the Cavaliers, feeding Anthony Davis on three alley-oop dunks.

"I'm just trying to get in (Vasquez's vision)," said Davis, who had 17 points and 13 rebounds for his rookie-leading 17th double-double. "Every time he drives to the basket I'm just trying to get in a spot where he can find me. He tells me he's going to get it to me."

The two have fared well against the Warriors this season, with Vasquez averaging 14.0 points and 11.7 assists and Davis at 17.0 points and 11.7 rebounds.

Despite the Hornets' improved play in the last two weeks, some of that could be a product of playing at home. They've lost six straight and 11 of 13 on the road.

What to Read Next