It was just the type of game the Golden State Warriors wanted Saturday night at Oracle Arena—big early lead, not much pressure from the visiting Utah Jazz—until it took a turn for the worse early in the fourth quarter.
Backup center Jermaine O’Neal had to be helped off just 34 seconds into the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 102-88 win over the Jazz after he slipped along the baseline. O’Neal sprained his right knee and strained his right groin.
That put a damper on a night in which Golden State won its third straight game, blasting out to a 27-13 lead after one quarter and never really looking back, while sending Utah’s NBA-worst record to 1-10.
Klay Thompson led six Warriors in double figures with 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting, including 5-for-8 from 3-point range. Andre Iguodala added 16 points, Stephen Curry had 15 points to go with 11 assists and—most importantly—no turnovers. David Lee went for 13 points, Andrew Bogut had his first double-double of the year, scoring a season-high 12 points to go with 11 rebounds, and Harrison Barnes came off the bench to score 11 points.
The Warriors shot 51.3 percent from the floor (41-for-80) and two nights after being hammered on the boards by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State cleaned the glass much better, outrebounding Utah 42-32.
Derrick Favors led the Jazz with 17 points, Gordon Hayward and Marvin Williams had 14 points each, Richard Jefferson chipped in 12 and Enes Kanter scored 10.
The Warriors led 51-34 at halftime and, aside from a brief Utah flurry to start the second half, were never threatened.
Thompson is now 35-for-67 from 3-point range, a sizzling 52.2 percent, and leads the Warriors with 20.9 points per game.
Golden State improved to 5-0 at the Oracle, benefitting from getting all five opponents on the back end of back-to-backs. The Jazz lost at San Antonio Friday night.
If O’Neal can’t go for an extended period, it would likely mean more minutes for Ognjen Kuzmic, the 7-foot rookie from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kuzmic has played only 37 minutes this season, scoring five points and grabbing four rebounds.
The Warriors complete the home-and-home with the Jazz Monday night in Salt Lake City. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Pacific.