UPDATE (3:34pm PT on Wednesday): Warriors forward Draymond Green has been ruled out for the game against the Hornets due to right shoulder soreness.
The Warriors will be without Stephen Curry for at least two weeks, likely more, and will get their first taste of life without their leader on Wednesday, when they face the Hornets at Spectrum Center in Charlotte.
In Curry’s absence, the Warriors (18-6) will lean heavily on backup point guard Shaun Livingston, who has made one start this season in place of Curry. The team also has recalled point guard Quinn Cook from the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.
The status of forward Draymond Green was unclear after the morning shootaround and he is listed as questionable.
The Hornets (9-13), who during the offseason added imposing center Dwight Howard, won five of their first eight games but since have lost 10 of 14, including four of their last five.
Warriors by 5
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Shaun Livingston/Quinn Cook vs. Kemba Walker: The Curry-Walker battles have always been fun to watch, but the dynamic is dramatically different now. Walker is the catalyst for the Hornets, as he leads the team in scoring (22.7 points per game), assists (6.3) and pure hubris. When he’s good, they have a chance. When he’s not, they’re in trouble. In addition to coping with Livingston and Cook, Walker may also get occasional doses of Klay Thompson. On the other side, Livingston has a six-inch height advantage on Walker.
Warriors: F Draymond Green (R shoulder soreness) was downgraded to out. G Stephen Curry (R ankle sprain) and G Pat McCaw (nose contusion) are listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.
Hornets: No injuries listed.
G Quinn Cook has been recalled from the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.
Warriors: 8-2. Hornets: 3-7.
Mike Callahan (crew chief), Nick Buchert and CJ Washington.
The Warriors, sweeping the two-game series in each of the past three seasons, have won the last six games in a row. They have won three straight in Charlotte and six of the last nine.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
PLAYING STEPHLESSLY: With Curry out, the Warriors must turn to someone else to anchor the offense and most of that will fall on Kevin Durant. The Warriors are 1-1 this season in games without Curry, beating the Magic on Nov. 13 with Livingston starting at the point and losing to the Kings on Nov. 27 with McCaw as the starter. Livingston and Cook will get most of the minutes at point guard on Wednesday.
A SEMBLANCE OF D: The Hornets have finished in the NBA’s bottom five in field-goal percentage in each of the past three seasons and nothing has changed this season. They currently are ranked 26th, at 44.3 percent. This is a team susceptible to wilting under defensive intensity. Will the Warriors bring it?
THE BIGS: Warriors big man Zaza Pachulia missed the game Monday at New Orleans but was cleared for Wednesday night. He’ll be largely responsible for Hornets center Dwight Howard, who is not the force he once was but actually having a solid season, averaging 15.1 points and 12.4 rebounds with 12 double-doubles.