OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Jermaine O’Neal had season highs of 23 points and 13 rebounds, Stephen Curry banked in a big 3-pointer in the final minute to finish with 17 points, and the Golden State Warriors held off the Brooklyn Nets 93-86 on Saturday night for their third straight victory since the All-Star break.
With Andrew Bogut sidelined with a left shoulder injury and David Lee out with a stomach flu, O’Neal and Draymond Green more than filled the void in the absence of Golden State’s frontcourt regulars. O’Neal shot 10 for 13 from the floor, and Green scored a career-best 18 points to go with 10 rebounds.
Deron Williams had 20 points and six assists, and Joe Johnson scored 15 points for a Nets team that struggled to shoot from 3-point range. Brooklyn made just 2 of 21 attempts from beyond the arc.
The Warriors hadn’t won three games in a row since the Nets ended their 10-game winning streak on Jan. 8 in Brooklyn.
The game moved at a plodding pace most of the way until the final minutes.
Johnson made an 18-foot fadeaway to tie the score at 84 with 2:22 remaining. Green followed with two free throws, then Andray Blatche converted a tying layup.
O’Neal drew a foul on the other end and hit two free throws – getting another chance after missing his second attempt because of a hitch in his release that drew a lane violation – to give Golden State an 88-86 lead.
On Brooklyn’s next possession, Johnson’s pass was deflected before hitting Williams’ hands and landing out of bounds. Curry quickly came back by banking in a 3-pointer to put the Warriors up 91-86 with 37 seconds remaining and put the game out of reach.
The win moved the Warriors (34-22) a season-high 12 games over .500. They begin a six-game road trip – all against Eastern Conference opponents – at Detroit on Monday.
Golden State’s smaller lineup gave the Nets fits from the start.
Curry hit two 3-pointers during an 18-6 run to open the game. Brooklyn’s slow start compounded when Shaun Livingston left in the first quarter with a bruised tailbone after falling hard when he was fouled by Harrison Barnes going for a layup. The team said X-rays on Livingston were negative.
Just like they did in Brooklyn, though, the Nets rallied from an early deficit against Golden State’s second unit. Brooklyn took the lead for the first time when Williams started a three-point play on a layup over Andre Iguodala, putting the Nets up 46-44 late in the second quarter.
They never led again.
After the Warriors went ahead 66-55 late in the third quarter, the Nets came back to slice Golden State’s lead to 68-64 entering the fourth.
NOTES: Nets G Marcus Thornton sat out with a stomach illness. He has yet to play since being traded from Sacramento on Wednesday for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans. … Warriors coach Mark Jackson said Bogut, who missed his seventh straight game because of an ailing left shoulder, will likely return at some point during the Warriors’ six-game road trip. … The Warriors signed C Hilton Armstrong to a 10-day contract, calling him from the team’s NBA Development League affiliate in Santa Cruz.
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: http://www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP