NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jarrett Jack denied having any extra incentive in his return to New Orleans, though he sure played down the stretch like he did.
Traded from the Hornets to the Warriors last July to clear cap space, he tied a career high with 12 assists and scored seven of his 25 points in the final minute. Klay Thompson added a season-high 29 points, and Golden State beat New Orleans 116-112 on Saturday night.
"People tend to say that you play with a chip on our shoulder when you play against your old team," Jack said. "I play with a chip on my shoulder all the time. Nothing has ever been given to me in this league. Every night I try to go out and prove myself no matter if I am playing against the Hornets, the Lakers or the Bobcats."
Then again, he did notice one difference.
"When I was on the way here my Ipod played, even though I had it on a shuffle, a James Brown song, 'The Big Payback,'" he said. "That was kind of weird."
The Warriors trailed 110-108 in a topsy-turvy game when Jack hit two free throws with 52 seconds left to tie the score. He converted a tough floater in the lane to give Golden State a 112-110 lead, and he finished off the Hornets with three free throws.
New Orleans struggled on its final possessions. Eric Gordon missed an open shot that would have broken a 110-all tie. Jason Smith was called for an illegal screen when they trailed 112-110. Greivis Vasquez, Jack's replacement as the starting point guard, missed a 3-point shot that would have tied the score at 113.
Jack averaged a career-high 15.6 points and 6.3 assists for rebuilding New Orleans last season, but the Hornets took Duke's Austin Rivers in the first round of the NBA draft. Soon after, they traded Jack in a three-way deal.
Coming off the bench for the Warriors, he averaged 12.1 points and 5.2 assists and more than doubled both totals on Saturday night.
"He was special," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "He was awfully good. Obviously there was something extra coming back and playing against former teammates. He made big plays for us."
Thompson scored 24 points in the first half as the Warriors led by as much as 16. Stephen Curry, returning after missing two games with a right ankle sprain, had 17 of his 20 points in the second half.
Gordon scored 23 points for the Hornets, who lost despite shooting a season-high 57 percent. Rookie Anthony Davis added 20 points and 12 rebounds, but he missed five of seven free throws, including two pivotal ones in the final two minutes. Vasquez added 15 assists.
"Put that on me," Davis said. "I should not be missing free throws like that. With that, we're not going to win."
The Warriors, who had lost five of six after a 22-10 start, won despite the absence of center David Lee, who missed his first game of the season after spraining his left ankle on Friday against San Antonio. The Hornets lost for only the second time in eight games after a 7-25 start.
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