NEW ORLEANS — It’s not that Jarrett Jack was specifically looking to make the Hornets realize they should have kept him instead of trading him for the rights of a player who would never play in the Crescent City.
But fate might have had a different idea.
“I always feel like every night I always go out and try to prove myself no matter if I’m playing against the Hornets, the Lakers or the Bobcats,” Jack said “I’ve got the same mentality each and every night. Even though, when I was on the way here, my iPod, even though I had it on shuffle, the James Brown song came on. The Payback. That was kind of weird. But it’s a great song, though.”
Saturday night, in the New Orleans Arena, Jack got that payback James Brown spoke of.
He scored seven straight points for Golden State, taking a two-point deficit and turning into a five-point lead, all with fewer than 60 seconds to play.
The Hornets couldn’t recover and fell 116-112, just the second loss in the past eight games for New Orleans.
“He was aggressive,” Hornets forward Jason Smith said of Jack, who scored 25 points and dished out 12 assists. “He’s a good player out there. He was attacking the basket. He was getting pretty much anything he wanted.”
New Orleans (13-27) lost in spite of outrebounding the Warriors and outscoring Golden State in the paint 54-40.
The Hornets 23 points from Eric Gordon and 20 points and 12 rebounds from Anthony Davis. Ryan Anderson scored 19 off of the bench and Roger Mason Jr. added 12.
That would usually be a sure sign for a Hornets (13-27) win.
But what the Warriors (24-15) didn’t get in the paint it got from the charity stripe, where the game was lost for New Orleans. While Golden State went 30 of 35 from the free-throw line, New Orleans was just 13 of 23.
“Sometimes you can overcome that if you are playing good defense and not turning the ball over,” Hornets coach Monty Williams said. “We did two things tonight that we don’t do – 17 turnovers for 22 points, that is terrible. You don’t win games like that.
“And then to give up that many points in three quarters, almost 100 points or maybe 100 points in three quarters – that is a tough one.”
New Orleans was in position to win in spite of going down by 16 points midway through the second quarter. A 6-0 to start the third quarter got things going and by the end of it, the Hornets held an 89-85 lead thanks to holding Golden State to 18 points.
The lead built to seven at 102-95 with 7:18 to go in the fourth. And then the Hornets went cold for long enough to let the Warriors climb back in.
“I think it was our lack of aggression,” Smith said. “We were not taking it to the basket anymore. I think we got back into the game by getting easy buckets, easy baskets at the rim. We were being aggressive. Draw them in and kick.”