OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Just about everything had gone as planned for the Golden State Warriors at home this season until 11:26 remained in the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.
Backup center Jermaine O'Neal slipped along the baseline, spraining his right knee and straining his right groin. The announced sellout crowd of 19,596 hushed, and players and coaches huddled over O'Neal before he was helped off the court.
It was far more drama than the Warriors wanted against the NBA's worst team. Just as they have in the four previous games at home, though, they responded.
Klay Thompson led the way with 25 points, and five others scored in double digits in an all-around effort that helped the Warriors hold off the Jazz 102-88 for their third straight victory — though perhaps its costliest one.
"Jermaine means a lot to this basketball team. He has a voice in the locker room, and we had to regroup," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "It's never fun or easy looking at a teammate go down like that. So we pray that everything's fine with him. At the end of the day, we have to have guys that step up and be ready."
O'Neal will have additional tests on Sunday. The Warriors play at Utah on Monday night, when they hope to duplicate a performance in which they never trailed.
Stephen Curry had 15 points and 11 assists, Andrew Bogut added 12 points and 11 rebounds, David Lee scored 13 and Harrison Barnes chipped in 11 points as the Warriors went ahead by 19 late in the second quarter. The Jazz came back within seven in the third quarter before Golden State pulled away by 20 late in the fourth.
"It's beautiful to watch when we play like that," Thompson said.
Derrick Favors finished with 17 points and seven rebounds, and Gordon Hayward and Marvin Williams each scored 14 for the Jazz, who fell to an NBA-worst 1-10.
"When you get down, especially to a team like Golden State that can score very quickly, you put yourself in a tough position," said Williams, who wore a facemask to protect his broken nose before tossing it aside in the second quarter.
Golden State (7-3) has taken advantage of a favorable home schedule so far this season.
The Warriors are 5-0 at Oracle Arena, with all five opponents playing the night before. Utah lost 91-82 to San Antonio on Friday night in Salt Lake City.
Jackson cautioned his team not to take the Jazz lightly. With the same formula of swarming defense and sharp shooting that has carried the club since its surprising playoff run last spring, Golden State seemed to quickly turn the contest into a predictable rout.
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