OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Dwight Howard scored a season-high 29 points and the Charlotte Hornets won just their third road game of the season, derailing the red-hot Golden State Warriors, 111-100, on Friday night.
Charlotte, beginning a four-game road trip, arrived with a 2-12 record away from home. But six Hornets players scored in double figures, led by Howard, who also had 12 rebounds and seven assists. Kemba Walker made just two of his first 12 shots, but warmed up to score 16 points.
On the night before the Warriors expect Stephen Curry to return from his sprained right ankle, they lost for just the second time in their past 15 games. They are 9-2 without Curry.
Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 27 points and Klay Thompson scored 24, 13 of them in the first quarter. Draymond Green had eight points, 11 rebounds and tied his career high with 16 assists.
The league’s best third-quarter team, Golden State trailed 79-75 after the Hornets outscored them 26-22 in the third. It didn’t get any better for the league’s defending champs.
Golden State got no closer than three points in the fourth quarter, and Charlotte’s lead reached 95-81 when Jeremy Lamb scored a layup off a feed from Howard to cap an 11-0 run with 6:30 left.
Durant gave the Oracle Arena crowd hope when he made a 3-point shot, then converted a four-point play in the span of 26 seconds, cutting the margin to 100-90. But Kemba Walker answered with a 3-pointer for the Hornets and Golden State’s rally was short-lived.
WIZARDS 121, ROCKETS 103
In Washington, Otto Porter Jr. scored 26 points, Bradley Beal and Kelly Oubre Jr. had 21 each, and the Washington Wizards beat Houston 121-103 on Friday night for the Rockets’ fifth straight loss.
The skid is Houston’s longest since dropping seven straight from Jan. 9-19, 2013.
NBA scoring leader James Harden matched his season low with 20 points for Houston. Chris Paul returned after missing three games with a strained groin. He had eight points and six assists in 26 minutes.
A night after blowing a 26-point lead in Boston, the Rockets held their last lead midway through the first quarter en route to their worst defeat of the season.
BUCKS 97, THUNDER 95
In Oklahoma City, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 23 points, including the questionable winning basket with 1.3 seconds left, and Milwaukee ended Oklahoma City’s six-game winning streak.
Replays clearly showed Antetokounmpo stepped out of bounds on his drive, but officials Derek Stafford, Ben Taylor and Leon Wood refused to review the play after the buzzer sounded, despite the pleas of Thunder coach Billy Donovan and several of his players.
Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City with 40 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists. Paul George sat out because of soreness in his left knee.
MAVERICKS 128, PELICANS 120
In New Orleans, Dennis Smith Jr. had his first career triple-double and Dallas made a franchise-record 22 3-pointers in its victory over New Orleans.
Smith had 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He was 5 of 7 from 3-point range and 8 of 12 overall. Wesley Matthews made 4 of 7 3-pointers and scored 18 points, and Devin Harris hit 5 of 7 3-pointers and added 17 points to help Dallas win three consecutive game for the first time this season. Dwight Powell scored 15 points, J.J. Barea had 14 and Harrison Barnes and Dirk Nowitzki 13 each.
Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 33 points. DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points and 20 rebounds.