What we learned in Warriors' wild loss to Hornets minus Steph


The Warriors had a strange Saturday night in Charlotte.

Steph Curry was ruled out just as the game began. Draymond Green missed the first few minutes of the second half because he needed to stretch. Green was then ejected with 9.3 seconds left in the game and the Warriors up by just two points.

After Green was ejected, the Hornets got two technical free throws, tying the game. They also got the ball.

Between that, and the Warriors playing on the second night of a back-to-back while the Hornets played their first game in a week, all signs pointed to an easier game for Charlotte.

But the Warriors fought. They had the win in the plan of their hands.

Then, Green was ejected, the Hornets made their free throws, Terry Rozier hit the game-winner and the Warriors lost, 102-100.

The Warriors (16-15) had a chip on their shoulder from their gut-wrenching loss to the Orlando Magic the night before. They needed to get back on track.

It wasn't a very pretty game, nor an easy one, and the Warriors' energy and determination could only go so far against the Hornets (14-15).

Here are three takeaways from Golden State's second straight loss.

Crumbling down the stretch

As I said above, the Warriors had this win in their hands. And they let it go.

After a jump ball with 13 seconds left in the game, Green got tangled up with Gordon Hayward as the two scrambled for the ball. When the whistle blew, Green and the Warriors thought it was for another jump ball. Instead, it was because the Hornets called a timeout.


Green was irate, charged with two technical fouls and ejected, leading to the Hornets tying the game.

Green is the heartbeat of this team. He always has been a passionate player who isn't afraid to let his feelings be heard. But on Saturday, his actions were costly. He knows better than to get ejected and give away points with a game on the line, and his ejection was the Warriors' downfall against the Hornets.

Energy and grit fueled their game

Without Curry on the floor, the Warriors lost the additional 30 points he probably would have scored. They also lost the Curry effect that draws several defenders to him and leaves other players open.

With that, the Warriors didn't get some of the same shots they are used to, forcing them to score in different ways. The way was with hustle and grit in the paint.

The Warriors scored 40 points in the paint against the Hornets and hit just 13 of their 39 attempted 3-pointers.

In the second quarter, the Warriors' energy got them back into the game. They simply out-played Charlotte, winning the rebounding battle 15-9 and outscoring the Hornets 32-21 in the frame.

The Warriors' aggressive play throughout the night kept him within striking distance and, eventually, allowed them to take a late lead. It just wasn't enough to hang on to win.

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Kelly Oubre continues to shine

Oubre's excellent February continued Saturday.

Oubre led the Warriors with 25 points -- including a monster 3-pointer with just under a minute left in the game. He completed the play with his signature blown kiss. Saturday was his third consecutive 20-point game and seventh of the season.

The Warriors acquired Oubre to fill the hole left by Klay Thompson's Achilles injury. But in Charlotte, Oubre had to make up for the absence of Thompson and Curry.

The impact Oubre's having on the Warriors goes beyond scoring. He continues to play strong defense, and on Saturday he injected some much-needed energy into their game.

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