Warriors melt down in buzzer-beating loss

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Matt Ellentuck
·7 min read
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The Golden State Warriors are on a two-game meltdown streak after blowing a 13-point fourth-quarter lead to the Orlando Magic on Friday and suffering one of the most self-destructive losses in NBA history on Saturday. A pair of technical fouls on Draymond Green with 9.3 seconds to go allowed the Warriors to cough up four points to Hornets' guard Terry Rozier including a buzzer-beating long-two which followed his pair of free throws. The Hornets won, 102-100, in regulation.

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The Warriors had one of the most bizarre and disappointing nights of their season in Charlotte. It began with MVP candidate Stephen Curry removing himself from the floor shortly before tip-off due to an illness. He was a late scratch and didn't play. That left the already short-handed Golden State team (without Klay Thompson, James Wiseman, and Kevon Looney) without their best player. Still, the Warriors fought. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 25 points on 9-of-19 shooting including four made 3-pointers, six rebounds, and two steals. Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting, and Eric Paschall scored 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting off the bench.

The Hornets were tough all night. Rozier led the way with an incredible 36 points on 12-of-19 shooting, P.J. Washington scored 15 points on three made 3-pointers, and Gordon Hayward scored 13 points with seven rebounds. But Golden State had this game. That was until the Hornets were afforded a timeout on a 50-50 loose ball Hayward and Green were wrestling for on the ground. That set off Green for the first technical, and then he went out of his way to earn the second to get the boot from the game. Rozier finished the game by hitting this shot.

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The two-loss swing means the difference between the Warriors sitting 18-13 and where they are now at 16-15. That won't help them escape an ultra-competitive Western Conference.

Let's talk about all five games from Saturday night.

Hornets 102, Warriors 100

The great

Terry Rozier — Aside from the game-winner, Rozier had an incredible stat line including 36 points on 8-of-11 3-point makes, four assists, three rebounds, one steal, and just two turnovers in 39 minutes.

Kelly Oubre — Oubre scored 25 points on a solid 9-of-19 shooting. That included 4-of-9 makes from distance, though he only made 3-of-5 shots from the free-throw line.

The good

P.J. Washington — Washington sunk three 3-pointers for 15 points, five rebounds, one block and two assists.

Gordon Hayward — Hayward also sunk three 3-pointers for 13 points, seven rebounds, one assist, and two steals.

Noteworthy

Stephen Curry — Curry was slated to play but pulled himself off the court prior to tip-off and was ruled out due to an illness.

Heat 96, Lakers 94

The great

Kendrick Nunn — Nunn led the way for Miami, scoring 27 points on an excellent 10-of-14 shooting including 5-of-6 from range. In the start, he also grabbed five rebounds, dished three assists, snagged a pair of steals, and had a block. He turned the ball over just once in 40 minutes.

Bam Adebayo — Adebayo scored 16 points on 8-of-16 shooting with 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals, a block, and just two turnovers in 36 minutes.

The good

Jimmy Butler — Butler scored 24 points but it came on a tough 8-of-20 shooting and no 3-point makes or tries. He added eight rebounds and five assists with a pair of steals but turned the ball over five times.

Kyle Kuzma — Kuzma's shown life in Anthony Davis's absence. On Saturday, he scored 23 points including four 3-pointers with four rebounds.

Montrezl Harrell — Harrell scored 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting with 10 rebounds and two steals in 24 minutes off the bench.

The disappointing

LeBron James — James didn't play well, which we don't say often. He scored just 19 points on 7-of-21 shooting with nine rebounds, nine assists, a block, and a steal. He also turned the ball over five times.

Noteworthy

Tyler Herro — Hero suffered a right hip contusion running into Alex Caruso in the second quarter and was ultimately ruled out for the second half. He finished with five points, four rebounds, and three assists in 14 minutes.

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Bulls 122, Kings 114

The great

Zach LaVine — LaVine's improved tremendously this season in every area on the court, offense and defense. He scored 38 points on 15-of-20 shooting (three 3-point makes) in the win. He also added four rebounds, three assists, three steals, and just two turnovers in 36 minutes.

Marvin Bagley — Without Richaun Holmes, Bagley had a really nice night. He scored 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting including a three-point shot with 11 rebounds, two assists, and two steals. He didn't turn the ball over in 35 minutes.

The good

Coby White — White made five 3-point shots to finish with 19 points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block in 35 minutes without a turnover. He made 6-of-14 shots overall.

Thaddeus Young — Young scored 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting with four assists, three rebounds, and two blocks in just 22 minutes off the bench.

Buddy Hield — Hield had an OK night scoring 23 points on 10-of-21 shooting (three made 3-pointers), four rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

Noteworthy

Jabari Parker — Parker made his season debut after dealing with back injuries and then missing time for personal reasons and COVID-19 protocol. He scored two points on 1-of-2 shooting in nine minutes.

Suns 128, Grizzlies 97

The great

Devin Booker — In just 26 minutes, Booker made 7-of-13 shots for 23 points, five assists, and five rebounds. He made 5-of-7 3-pointers and all four free throws he took.

The good

Chris Paul — Paul became the No. 6 leader in assists in NBA history, dishing six in 22 minutes to pass Oscar Robertson. This game was such a blowout that he hardly had to play. He scored 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting with two rebounds and just one turnover.

Mikal Bridges — Bridges scored 19 points on four made 3-pointers with six rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block.

Jonas Valanciunas — Valanciunas scored 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting with 12 rebounds and one assist.

Noteworthy

Justise Winslow — Winslow played for the first time in 13 months after suffering a hip injury in the bubble. He played 21 minutes and scored nine points (one made 3-pointer) on 3-of-14 shooting with seven rebounds and one steal.

Wizards 118, Trail Blazers 111

The great

Damian Lillard — He only made 10-of-30 shots, but Lillard scored 35 points on seven made 3-pointers (17 tries) with 12 assists, six rebounds, and one steal with three turnovers in 39 minutes.

Bradley Beal — Another day, another Bradley Beal scorched-earth performance. He scored 37 points on 16-of-27 shooting (two made 3-pointers) with seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and five turnovers.

Russell Westbrook — Yeah! He had a nice night. Westbrook scored 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting with 13 assists and 11 rebounds. He turned the ball over seven times, but you kinda have to punt that category with him. Take the efficient shooting and run.

The good

Enes Kanter — Kanter scored 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting with 13 rebounds, one assist, one steal, and no turnovers in 34 minutes. He only made 3-of-5 free throws, though.

Gary Trent Jr. — Trent did what he normally does. He knocked down four 3-pointers on 11 tries for 16 points, three rebounds, and two assists.

Robin Lopez — In 28 minutes off the bench, Lopez scored 10 points on just 3-of-8 shooting but grabbed 11 boards with two assists, two steals, and one block.

Rui Hachimura — Hachimura had a decent fantasy night scoring 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting with seven rebounds and three steals.