Terry Rozier hit a buzzer-beating jumper from the left corner to cap a wild finish Saturday night as the host Charlotte Hornets overtook the Stephen Curry-less Golden State Warriors, 102-100.
Warmed up and ready to make his annual Charlotte homecoming, Curry was escorted back to the locker room shortly before the opening tip. The Warriors reported a few minutes later that the league’s third-leading scorer wasn’t feeling well.
Curry, who had his number retired at both Charlotte Christian High and nearby Davidson College, also missed last year’s game at Charlotte with a broken hand.
Despite Curry’s last-minute scratch, the Warriors led 100-98 and had possession of the ball after Draymond Green grabbed an offensive rebound with 15.7 seconds left.
Green handed off to Brad Wanamaker, the team’s best foul shooter in Curry’s absence, but in his attempt to run out the clock, the backup point guard got tied up by LaMelo Ball for a jump ball with 9.3 seconds left.
The taller Ball tipped the ball to a falling Gordon Hayward, who was immediately tied up by Green for another apparent jump ball. But the referees ruled that the Hornets had called a timeout after Hayward was in possession, allowing them to get the timeout and keep the ball.
Infuriated by the call, Green got two technical fouls and was ejected from the game.
Rozier made both free throws that resulted from the technicals, tying the game at 100, still with 9.3 seconds left, then buried his game-winner from just inside the arc over Juan Toscano-Anderson as the final horn was sounding.
Rozier shot 8-for-11 on 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 36 points, his fourth consecutive 30-point outing. The Hornets hadn’t played since Feb. 14 after two games were postponed for COVID-19 reasons.
P.J. Washington chipped in with 15 points, Hayward with 13 and Miles Bridges 10 for the Hornets, who shot 20-for-40 on 3-pointers and outscored the Warriors 60-39 from beyond the arc.
Ball had a game-high seven assists to complement seven points on a 3-for-10 shooting night.
Kelly Oubre Jr. had 25 points to pace the Warriors, who lost for a second straight night after falling at Orlando on Friday.
Andrew Wiggins had 19 points, Eric Paschall 16, and Wanamaker and Damion Lee 14 apiece for Golden State, which was playing for the first time this season without Curry.
Green finished with a team-high seven rebounds.
Playing the second night of a back-to-back and without their leader, the Warriors managed only 15 first-quarter points and fell behind 24-15 after 12 minutes before turning things around.
Golden State took a 47-45 lead into the halftime break, led by Oubre’s 16 points and Wiggins’ 12. The Hornets, who outshot and outrebounded the Warriors in the half and outscored them 24-15 on 3-pointers, hurt themselves with 11 early turnovers.
–Field Level Media