OAKLAND -- One game after a thrilling win in a nationally televised matchup against a title contender, the Warriors beat lottery-bound Utah 102-88 on Saturday night.
Two days after a victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder, it was a sleepy atmosphere before an uninspired crowd. And the one-win Jazz certainly wasn't an opponent to get up for. But Golden State didn't play down to its competition.
This is what they call "handling business" in the NBA.
Last season, the Warriors lost a handful of winnable games, including a few at home to non-playoff teams. They're determined to avoid such letdowns this season.
"That's always in the back of our minds," Klay Thompson said after totaling 25 points on 14 shots. "We have a different makeup this year. We're a little deeper. These are the games you have to win if you want to be a great team. ... You've got to win the winnable games at home."
The Warriors (7-3) improved to 5-0 at Oracle Arena, holding double-digit leads in all of them. The win over the Jazz was the third time they've gone 48 minutes without trailing.
No, this wasn't the whippings the Warriors planted on Detroit, Sacramento and the Los Angeles Lakers. Golden State's starters did get fourth-quarter action after Utah made a second-half run. But Golden State got the job done. The Warriors didn't allow a bad team to be within striking distance down the stretch.
It looked for a moment as if it were heading that way.
The Warriors led 51-34 at the half after holding Utah to 33.3 percent shooting over the first two quarters. Golden State was a good run from turning the contest into a scrimmage. Until you looked up and the lead was down to seven.
The Jazz got hot from behind the 3-point line, knocking down four 3-pointers during a 20-10 run to open the second half. Utah forward Gordon Hayward's second 3 during the spurt cut the Warriors' lead to 61-54 with 5:37 left in the third quarter.
"When we have a big lead at the half, we're still figuring out how to come out with aggression in the third quarter and not give them any life," point guard Stephen Curry said after totaling 15 points and 11 assists with no turnovers. "But to be able to come back from that, push the lead up and kind of win comfortable down the stretch, that's a good sign."
The Warriors' lead was 85-75 after a three-point play by Jazz big man Derrick Favors at the 7:16 mark of the fourth quarter. But Golden State took the edge off for the fans with a run to end the suspense.
Harrison Barnes started it by drilling a pull-up. And, after a Hayward jumper, Thompson dropped in a baseline jumper. After a stop, Curry found Thompson in the corner for a transition 3. Golden State's lead was up to 92-77.
At the 4:39 mark, Curry dropped in a driving finger roll followed by a runner off the glass from David Lee. Then Curry capped a 13-4 run by turned the high pick-and-roll with Andrew Bogut into an alley-oop. The Warriors led 98-79, and the starters were finally yanked with 3:14 left.
"I thought we did a very good job of keeping them at bay," coach Mark Jackson said.
O'Neal slipped in the paint and landed awkwardly in the splits. He immediately grabbed his right thigh while rolling on the court in pain. He was eventually helped to the locker room by his teammates, unable to put any pressure on his right leg.
O'Neal will undergo more tests Sunday. If he's out for any significant time, especially with Festus Ezeli still on the shelf after knee surgery, the Warriors will be in need of a backup center. Golden State has three options behind Bogut: 1. Go small with Lee or Speights at center; 2. Give O'Neal's minutes to rookie Ognjen Kuzmic; 3. Go get another big man, such as promising training camp invitee Dewayne Dedmon, currently playing for the Warriors' NBA Development League team in Santa Cruz.
"I took a full timeout because he means a lot to this basketball team," Jackson said. "We pray everything is fine with him. At the end of the day, we have to have guys that will step up and be ready."
Warriors (7-3) at Utah (1-10),
6 p.m. CSNBA