Charlotte Hornets

Stephen Curry’s 28 third-quarter points help sink the Charlotte Hornets

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, right, drives to the basket as Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker, left, applies defensive pressure during third quarter action at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte on Wednesday.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, right, drives to the basket as Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker, left, applies defensive pressure during third quarter action at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte on Wednesday. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Apparently Stephen Curry wanted to show his hometown just how absurdly dominant he can be Wednesday.

After a relatively quiet 12 first-half points, the former Davidson star poured in 28 in the third quarter, pushing the Golden State Warriors to a 116-99 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

The Warriors extended their NBA-record season-opening win streak to 20 games. The Hornets fell to 10-8, completing a franchise-record seven-game homestand at 5-2.

Curry never played in the fourth quarter after Hornets coach Steve Clifford cleared his bench with about six minutes remaining. Nic Batum led the Hornets with 17 points and eight rebounds.

The Hornets next play the Bulls in Chicago Friday. The Warriors travel to Toronto for the third of what will be a seven-game road trip.

Three who mattered

Curry: He shot 10-of-11 from the field and 5-of-5 from 3-point range in the third quarter. This was the fourth time this season he has reached 40 or more points by the end of the third quarter.

Klay Thompson: He carried the Warriors much of the first half with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting

Frank Kaminsky: The Hornets’ rookie forward scored a career-high 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field.

Observations

▪  Point guard Kemba Walker really struggled in the first half, missing all eight of his shots from the field.

▪  The Hornets are second in the Eastern Conference in offensive rating, averaging 104.3 points per 100 possessions. Cleveland is first at 104.8.

▪  A reflection of the depth the Hornets have built this season: Jeremy Lin and Jeremy Lamb combine for 23.7 bench points this season. That’s the highest such total in the East.

▪  The Hornets made Clifford’s contract extension official Wednesday. Sources confirm Clifford’s new contract will be guaranteed for the next three seasons with the Hornets holding a one-season option after that.

▪  The Hornets honored Hornets television analyst Dell Curry at halftime. Curry still holds the franchise record for most games played (701), points (9,839), field goals made (3,951) and 3-point field goals made (929).

Worth mentioning

▪  Hornets associate head coach Patrick Ewing missed Wednesday’s game following a minor surgical procedure on his left knee.

▪  Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton sat at courtside Wednesday, wearing a No. 30 (Dell Curry’s old number) Hornets jersey.

▪  Little-used Hornets big man Tyler Hansbrough was inserted into the game in the second quarter.

They said it

“He means a lot to the city. He played here as one of the original Hornets, and he was the last original Hornet to leave.” – Stephen Curry on his father being honored by the Hornets Wednesday.

“The one thing that is disappoint, and that has to change, is you can’t pick-and-choose when you’re going to be physical.” – Clifford on his team giving up so many offensive rebounds to the Warriors.

“For him to be here and be a part of this, and the way they are playing, makes it extra special.” – Dell Curry on his son, Stephen, playing in Charlotte the night the Hornets honored him.

Report card

C OFFENSE: They shot poorly from both the field (37 percent) and 3-point range (29 percent), as they adjust to playing without injured center Al Jefferson’s post presence.

D DEFENSE: You can’t do much about Curry’s absurd shooting range, but the Hornets gave up eight offensive rebounds before halftime.

C COACHING: The Hornets have been strong defensive rebounders during most of Clifford’s watch. This is a problem area right now.

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