Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Warriors beat Hornets 110-103 in New Orleans

The Warriors entered this game with a fully healthy roster for the first time in 202 games (as told by telecaster Bob Fitzgerald) and it made the difference in a big road win against a quality opponent.

Both teams shot the ball well to start, but the Hornets took control of the momentum with a 9-0 run. Amidst the brief scoring drought, the Warriors tried to feed Lou Amundson in the post and A.C. Law took and missed some jumpers. The Hornets rejoiced to see these players try to initiate offense, rather than watch Monta Ellis, Steph Curry, or Dorell Wright shred them.

The Warriors bench was outplayed by that of New Orleans in the second quarter. The defense of the Hornets forced the Warriors into some ugly offensive possessions and the W's finished the half at 42 percent from the field.

Every team goes through dry stretches during a game. The good teams find a way to get to the foul line to survive these stretches. The Warriors were able to do this during their push in the fourth quarter, but not so much in the second quarter. The Hornets pushed their lead with a 12-0 run.

In the third quarter the Warriors were near flat line, down 13 points with four minutes left. A 9-0 run sparked by some three point connections by Ellis got the W's back within four, but they let the Hornets push it back to 10 going into the fourth.

The fourth quarter was dominated by the Warriors, as they went on a 13-3 run to start what would be a 38 point quarter and pull out an important victory for this team looking to make a run this month.

The emergence of Ekpe Udoh is a big boost to this Warriors front line. Udoh didn't light up the boxscore, but his activity and energy make him valuable on defense. On offense, he had a nice post up baby hook over David West in the fourth quarter. It showed his patience, skill, and readiness to play with the first team in a pressure situation.

The Warriors are a running team that thrives on early offense and struggle when the pace of play slows up. With a healthy roster, it will be fun to see how players who have not had court time with one another, develop chemistry.

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