Hornets prevail over Warriors in overtime home victory

Charlotte outscored Golden State by seven points in overtime

Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward (20) drives with the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game on against the Golden State Warriors, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Scott Kinser)

CHARLOTTE — P.J. Washington rose to the occasion with 31 points and seven rebounds on Saturday night as the Charlotte Hornets defeated the defending NBA champions inside the Spectrum Center.

In their second home game of the season — and still without leading scorers LaMelo Ball (ankle) and Terry Rozier (ankle) — the Hornets (3-3) pulled out an impressive 120-113 victory in overtime over the Golden State Warriors (3-3).

Gordon Hayward added 23 points while Kelly Oubre Jr. provided 18 points. With 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Hornets, Dennis Smith Jr. continued his promising start in Charlotte.

Stephen Curry scored 31 points with 11 rebounds for the Warriors but was only three of 13 from beyond the arc; Jordan Poole had 24 points off the bench as Golden State’s four other starters were all held to 12 points or less.

The Hornets used strong efforts from Smith, Washington and Jalen McDaniels in the overtime period to lift themselves over the Warriors, who fell flat in the closing minutes with multiple missed shots from long range — including a notably uncharacteristic airball from Curry.

Washington, in particular, came up big with six of Charlotte’s 13 points in overtime. His 31 points overall marked the second-highest single-game scoring output of his career, trailing only his 42-point game in Sacramento on Feb. 28, 2021. He was 11 of 12 shooting in the paint vs. Golden State and converted seven of eight shots at the rim.

”It goes to show we have a lot of character,” Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said, referencing his team’s dismal 113-93 loss in Orlando (1-5) on Friday. ”We played poorly last night. … but you could just tell in shootaround. I didn’t know we were going to win, but I knew we were going to play well. Just the way they walked into the building and the way they were talking to each other.”

In six games this season, the Hornets have shown resilience in light of Ball and Rozier (along with forward Cody Martin) all missing in action due to injuries. According to Clifford, the team is hoping to get all three back soon, although there is no set timetable.

The lack of available players has forced the Hornets to put in an extra effort as of late.

“It says a lot about the guys in the locker room. They sucked it up. We were tired,” Clifford said of his team’s status.

On Monday night, Charlotte will gear up to host the Sacramento Kings (1-4), who just recorded their first win of the season with a 119-113 win over the Miami Heat (2-5).