Stephen Curry returns home, scores 23 points to lead Warriors past Hornets 115-97

Stephen Curry scored 23 points with four 3-pointers in his annual Charlotte homecoming game and the Golden State Warriors defeated the Hornets 115-97 for their third straight win

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Stephen Curry scored 23 points with four 3-pointers in his annual homecoming game and the Golden State Warriors beat the Charlotte Hornets 115-97 on Friday night for their third straight win.

Curry, who grew up here and starred at nearby Davidson College before entering the NBA draft as a first-round pick in 2009, had 12 points in the pivotal third quarter as the Warriors blew open a close game.

Curry has always relished returning to play in Charlotte and seeing family and old friends, but the previous four games here have resulted in losses.

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“At this stage (of my career) I can probably count on one hand how many times I get to come back here,” Curry said. “It was nice seeing a lot of familiar faces in the crowd. And, it was nice to actually get a win.”

Andrew Wiggins had a big role in that, turning in another strong game with 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

Trayce Jackson-Davis added 18 points for the Warriors, who are in 10th place in the Western Conference standings and battling the Houston Rockets for a spot in the play-in tournament.

The Rockets won their 11th straight, 101-100 over the Utah Jazz on Friday night and are a game behind the Warriors.

Fred VanVleet had 22 points, Amen Thompson added 18 points and 14 rebounds while Jabari Smith, Jr. scored 14 points for the Rocke

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said that is a reflection of just how tough the West is this season.

“We had a similar record last year and we were the sixth seed,” Kerr said.

Golden State limited Charlotte to 41% shooting and held its third straight opponent to fewer than 100 points.

“I feel like we are starting out the game engaged on the floor and talking, and that has carried over,” Jackson-Davis said.

Miles Bridges had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead Charlotte, which failed in its bid to win back-to-back games for the first time since the All-Star break.

Curry always packs the Spectrum Center and Friday night was no exception.

With his brother Seth and father Dell looking on, Curry finished the game 9 of 18 from the field. Seth plays for Charlotte but is out with an ankle injury, while Dell is a broadcaster for the Hornets.

Curry admitted there has always been a “curiosity” about playing for the Hornets, where his father was a star but said his intentions are to remain in the Bay Area.

Charlotte rookie Brandon Miller briefly left the game with 8 1/2 minutes left after his leg got tangled up with Draymond Green while going for a rebound. He had just 12 points after making a career-high seven 3s and scoring 31 points on Monday night.

Green, who was ejected from the Warriors last game against Orlando, was later whistled for a foul when he appeared to push Charlotte’s Grant Williams to the ground. Coach Steve Kerr challenged the call, but the play was upheld.

The Warriors had no problems scoring against the Hornets, repeatedly taking advantage of breakdowns by Charlotte’s defense, finding wide open players underneath the basket on three different occasions.

“Trayce (Jackson-Davis) did a great job on the boards today, gave them second opportunities, and with the Warriors, you can’t do that with everybody on their team who can shoot,” Bridges said. “They were making shots, they were cutting hard and they were getting second-chance points.”

The Warriors played without Klay Thompson, who sat out with tendinitis in his right knee.

Chris Paul got the start in his place and had 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, including a lob over three players to Jackson-Davis for a dunk.

Jackson-Davis said Paul thought he threw the ball over his head.

“I had some sneaky bunnies and I went up and got it,” Jackson-Davis said.

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