Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard scored a season-high 29 points and totaled a career-high seven assists to upset the NBA champion Golden State Warriors 111-100. Ben Margot AP
Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard scored a season-high 29 points and totaled a career-high seven assists to upset the NBA champion Golden State Warriors 111-100. Ben Margot AP

Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets stun Golden State Warriors; career night for Dwight Howard

December 30, 2017 01:48 AM

Dwight Howard, point center.

It figures it would take something extraordinary for the Charlotte Hornets to beat the NBA defending champion Golden State Warriors in Oakland, California, Friday. Extraordinary was a career-best seven assists by future Hall-of-Famer Howard.

Howard finished with a season-high 29 points, plus 14 rebounds and those seven assists in a 111-100 victory at Oracle Arena.

This win couldn’t have come at a better time for the Hornets, who seemed to be cratering entering a four-game West Coast trip. At 12-22, the Hornets had lost five of their last seven, and four of those losses were at Spectrum Center.

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There was every expectation the Hornets would be drilled by a Warriors team that was 14-4 at home this season and had won nine of its previous 10 games, despite being without two-time Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry.

Curry again sat, waiting to be cleared to play after a severe ankle sprain earlier this month. The Hornets had been dreadful on the road this season, losing 12 of 14 games away from Spectrum Center.

The Hornets went into halftime tied at 53-53. They built a double-digit lead in the third quarter. The Warriors trailed by only four entering the fourth quarter, before Kemba Walker (18 points) and Frank Kaminsky (14) hit huge jump shots down the stretch.

This was the Hornets’ first victory over the Warriors in the last seven meetings. They last won at Oracle Arena in February 2014.

The Warriors won the previous game this season, 101-87, in Charlotte. Warriors superstar Kevin Durant scored 27 points and Klay Thompson added 24.

Howard, acquired in a June trade with the Atlanta Hawks, made 10 of his 15 shots from the field. Howard made nine of his 12 free throws Friday; for the season, he is 53.6 percent from the line.

Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell

Hornets 111, Warriors 100

CHARLOTTE (111)—Kidd-Gilchrist 5-12 2-4 12, Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Howard 10-15 9-12 29, Walker 5-16 3-4 16, Batum 6-10 1-2 15, O’Bryant III 2-4 0-0 4, Kaminsky 5-8 3-5 14, Carter-Williams 1-4 0-0 2, Graham 3-5 2-3 8, Lamb 4-13 3-4 11. Totals 41-89 23-34 111.

GOLDEN STATE (100)—Durant 8-19 7-7 27, Green 4-11 0-0 8, Pachulia 0-2 0-0 0, Livingston 5-7 2-2 12, Thompson 10-20 1-2 24, Young 2-7 0-0 5, Bell 3-7 2-2 8, Looney 1-1 0-0 2, West 5-7 0-0 10, Iguodala 1-3 0-0 2, McCaw 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 40-87 12-13 100.

Charlotte

32

21

26

32

111

Golden State

29

24

22

25

100

3-Point Goals—Charlotte 6-20 (Walker 3-9, Batum 2-4, Kaminsky 1-2, Graham 0-1, Carter-Williams 0-1, Lamb 0-3), Golden State 8-22 (Durant 4-5, Thompson 3-7, Young 1-5, Bell 0-1, Iguodala 0-1, McCaw 0-1, Green 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Charlotte 47 (Howard 13), Golden State 43 (Green 11). Assists—Charlotte 27 (Howard 7), Golden State 32 (Green 16). Total Fouls—Charlotte 10, Golden State 25. Technicals—Charlotte coach Pat Delany. A—19,596 (19,596).