The New Orleans Hornets saw firsthand why the Golden State Warriors are now going to build their team around Klay Thompson.
Thompson put together an outstanding performance to help the Warriors beat the Hornets last week and these teams meet seven days later Wednesday night at ORACLE Arena.
Golden State (20-28) won 101-92 at New Orleans (12-37) last Wednesday in an entertaining affair in which the rookie had 27 points on 11-of-24 shooting. The scoring total established a season high at the time for the player selected with the No. 11 pick.
The Warriors are 2-6 since trading leading scorer Monta Ellis to Milwaukee on March 15. Thompson has figured prominently in both victories with a season-best 31 in a 111-108 win over Sacramento on Saturday.
Hornets point guard Jarrett Jack had 17 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his first career triple-double in last week's matchup with the Warriors. New Orleans fell despite a 47-33 edge on the glass.
Part of the Hornets' problem was they failed to defend the 3-point arc well, allowing the Warriors to make 14 of 29 attempts. That's normally a strength for New Orleans, which is second in the NBA in limiting opponents to 31.1 percent shooting on 3-pointers.
Thompson, however, presents a unique challenge as he leads all rookies with 42.1 percent 3-point shooting.
The Hornets opened a five-game trip with Monday's 97-85 loss to the Clippers, finishing with a season-worst 29 turnovers that led to 35 points for Los Angeles.
"You're never going to win playing like that," coach Monty Williams said. "Our point guards had a number of them but it was everybody."
No starter scored in double figures while Jack and backup point guard Greivis Vasquez combined for 11 turnovers.
"Part of our bad start was not handling the ball correctly and turning it over. You really can't get into a rhythm when you're playing like that,'' Jack said. "I put a lot of it on my shoulders. I didn't do a good job of setting a tempo for the game, and I am not really happy with the way I played."
The Hornets will get Jason Smith back after the 7-footer completed a two-game suspension Monday for a flagrant foul against Blake Griffin last Thursday.
The Warriors will likely again be short-handed for this game with Stephen Curry nursing a right ankle sprain, Andris Biedrins out with a groin injury and Nate Robinson sidelined with a strained right hamstring.
Golden State fought gamely in rallying from 16 points down before falling 104-101 at home to the Lakers on Tuesday. David Lee and Brandon Rush each scored 23 points and Thompson - one of three rookies in the lineup - chipped in with 20.
"The bottom line is, at the end of the day, I've got a bunch of guys that compete, that get after it, that work extremely hard, that have tremendous character and pride and gave ourselves a chance," coach Mark Jackson said.