David Lee had 26 points and nine rebounds, Klay Thompson finished with 19 points and the Warriors brought their surprising road run home with a 103-96 victory over the struggling New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday night.
After going 6-1 on the season’s longest road stretch, the Warriors built a 14-point lead in the second quarter and held off the Hornets late. Golden State (17-8) is off to its best start since the 1991-92 season, when the team began 21-8.
Ryan Anderson scored 28 points off the bench and Anthony Davis had 15 points and 16 rebounds in his first start in a month for the Hornets, who lost their eighth straight and are the worst team in the Western Conference with a 5-19 record.
Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack each scored 16 points to help Golden State hold off their former team, with each making a pair of free throws in the final minutes. New Orleans sent Jack to Golden State as part of a three-team deal with Philadelphia, while Laundry signed a free-agent deal with the Warriors.
The Warriors hadn’t played at Oracle Arena since Dec. 3. The Hornets almost erased all the good vibes with a frantic fourth quarter rally.
Davis caught a half-court pass from Greivis Vasquez and converted a layup over Landry for a three-point play that capped a 14-4 Hornets run to tie tied the game at 92-all. Landry answered with two free throws, Stephen Curry made a pull-up jumper and Jack added another pair from the line to put the Warriors ahead 98-92 with 1:24 remaining.
The Warriors extended the momentum from their East Coast trip — which included a win at defending champion Miami — and added some style points, too.
Curry’s left-handed pass off the dribble split two defenders en route to Festus Ezeli, who tapped the ball to David Lee for a dunk. And on the last play of the first quarter, Charles Jenkins brought the home fans roaring to their feet with a buzzer-beating baseline jumper.
Landry kept the surge going in the second quarter when he started a three-point play with a reverse layup over Roger Mason. He flexed his biceps in celebration and made the free to give Golden State a 38-24 lead.
Hornets coach Monty Williams had restructured his starting lineup in hopes of shaking the losing streak. Anderson came off the bench and Robin Lopez moved from center to power forward to make room for Davis.
Davis, the top pick in June’s draft, started for the first time since Nov. 17 at Milwaukee. He had come off the bench the previous four games after sitting out 11 games with a left ankle injury.
The result remained the same.
NOTES: Lee’s streak of consecutive double-doubles ended at seven games. … Williams said he’s still not sure when PG Eric Gordon will return from a right knee injury that has sidelined him all season. For now, he’s trying to stay patient. “My pastor taught me something a long time ago called present discomfort for future gains,” Williams said. “And that’s what we’re kind of going through as a team.” … A moment of silence was held before the game for the victims of the Connecticut elementary school shooting last week.