The Warriors found themselves in a tight ballgame late on Wednesday, but there was no need to worry about their crunch-time offense. Golden State was nearly perfect the final six-plus minutes against the Hornets in Charlotte and ended up winning going away — 113-103.
The Warriors scored 24 points in the game’s final 6:24, including a stretch where they scored on 10 consecutive possessions. Kevin Durant had 16 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth quarter, going 5-for-6 from the field and 6-for-6 from the foul line. Durant went to the line three straight possessions midway through the period, which got the Warriors on the right side of the score.
For a little while, the Warriors’ streak of 131 consecutive regular-season victories without losing back-to-back games seemed to be in peril. Charlotte led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter before the Warriors worked their way back into the things by the start of the fourth quarter.
The Warriors went to their small lineup — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Durant and Draymond Green — for a good chunk of the fourth quarter, and it paid off as they finished off the game with a 21-9 run. The Warriors took advantage of Charlotte’s lumbering and stagnant big men: Roy Hibbert, Spencer Hawes and Frank Kaminsky. That trio finished 7-for-24 from the floor with five turnovers among them
The Warriors got an unexpected lift from James Michael McAdoo, who found himself on the court for 20 minutes in large part because of the injury to David West. McAdoo finished with eight points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Warriors coach Steve Kerr credited McAdoo and the team’s second unit for setting a defensive tone at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Early in the season, rim protection was a big problem for the Warriors, but over the course of the year they’ve gotten better and better at defending the rim and the paint. On Wednesday, the Warriors had 14 blocks, including four by Durant.