Warriors star Stephen Curry struggles in front of hometown Hornets crowd

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“He had some shots that looked good that just didn’t fall. That’s the name of the game sometimes,” Kevin Durant said of Curry’s off night.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Warriors star Stephen Curry returned to Charlotte to face the Hornets on Monday just a little more than a week after participating in All-Star weekend at Spectrum Center.

But, he didn’t have the game he would have hoped for in front of the hometown crowd.

Curry, who finished with 16 points, struggled as he shot 5 of 18 from the field and 4 of 14 from 3-point range. While Curry said he “didn’t shoot the ball well,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr pointed to how hard it can be returning home and the pressure that comes with putting on a show in front of a hometown crowd, while reiterating there’s “no concern” about Curry’s off night.

“It’s never easy coming back to your hometown, especially if you’re somebody like Steph who is like the mayor here,” Kerr told reporters after the 121-110 victory. “Everybody knows him in the stands and so I don’t know. He’s so dynamic, he’s so talented but everyone has a game once in a while where things don’t go exactly to plan and tonight was one of those games for Steph.”

Curry, who played three seasons at Davidson University before Golden State selected him with the seventh pick in the 2009 draft, shrugged off his poor performance.

“It is what it is. We had nights like that before. You obviously want to shoot the lights out when you’re here because it’s my one time coming here,” Curry said. “From the All-Star game to this … I think I’m a collective, like, 8 for 31 or something like that from three and so not great. But I enjoy the atmosphere. Try to do little things to help my team win and not get caught up in the stats when we’re winning games.”

The six-time All-Star gave credit to his teammates for stepping up and making big plays while he struggled to sink his shots, calling out center DeMarcus Cousins, forward Kevin Durant, guard Klay Thompson and forward Draymond Green for how well they played.

“Tonight was kind of ugly at times,” Curry told reporters. “I didn’t shoot the ball well, but everybody can shoot it. DeMarcus was unbelievable tonight and his minutes. KD made huge plays, especially in the first half to keep us afloat. Klay was efficient tonight. Draymond with an overall game and our bench guys contributed all night and so just understanding again, our bounce back has to be solid like it has been before.”

Curry revealed he told his teammates in the tunnel before they ran out onto the court how much a win in Charlotte would mean to him and then said his teammates helped him out. Durant said despite some of Curry’s shooting struggles, “he still played hard.”

“Obviously, we know how important it is for him to come back home and for his friends and family and he definitely wanted to play well,” Durant said. “I thought he had some shots that looked good that just didn’t fall. That’s the name of the game sometimes.”

With the victory, the Warriors improved to 43-17 to stay atop the Western Conference. Curry said the win was “good momentum” as they shift their focus to the next three games of their road trip.

Golden State faces the Heat, Magic and 76ers before returning home to host the Celtics.

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