Warriors-Jazz Preview

The Golden State Warriors know full well they need to start

translating their home dominance to the road to be considered among

the elite teams in the NBA.

They have an excellent chance to do just that Monday night when

they go for a home-and-home sweep of the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake

City.

It was business as usual for the Warriors at home Saturday

night, when they led wire-to-wire en route to a 102-88 victory over

the Jazz (1-10). Klay Thompson paced six players in double figures

with 25 points as Golden State improved to 5-0 at Oracle Arena,

where it is averaging 110.8 points while shooting 52.5 percent and

making half of its 3-pointers.

Still, putting forth a similar effort outside the Bay Area has

proven problematic at times for the Warriors (7-3), who ended a

five-year playoff drought last season despite finishing 19-22 on

the road. They are averaging 99.0 points on 46.1 percent shooting

while going 2-3 this season and averaged 82.0 points in losses at

San Antonio and Memphis in their previous two road contests.

With their other loss coming to the Los Angeles Clippers, all

three of their defeats have come to teams which made the playoffs

last season.

“So far we’ve quote-unquote beaten the teams that we’re supposed

to beat and we’ve won games at home,” said forward David Lee, who

had 13 points and five rebounds. “Now we need to go on the road and

do the same thing against a Jazz team that’s going to come back and

want revenge.”

Lee may see extra minutes since Jermaine O’Neal likely won’t be

available after suffering a sprained right knee and a strained

groin following a fall on the baseline early in the fourth quarter.

The 35-year-old backup center couldn’t put any pressure on his leg

while being helped off the court.

“Jermaine means a lot to this basketball team. He has a voice in

the locker room, and we had to regroup,” 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.”

Thompson has been a bell weather for the Warriors, averaging

25.1 points on 61.7 percent shooting in their victories but only

11.0 points on 36.1 percent shooting in the losses.

Utah has lost consecutive games since its lone win and has the

worst record in the league. The Jazz, last in the NBA in scoring at

88.7 points per game, are also the only team averaging more

turnovers (18.7) than assists (17.6).

“When you get down, especially to a team like Golden State that

can score very quickly, you put yourself in a tough position,” said

Marvin Williams, who wore a facemask to protect his broken nose

before tossing it aside in the second quarter.

Gordon Hayward, averaging a team-high 19.3 points, was held to

14 against the Warriors and has shot 10 of 35 in his last two

games.

Utah has not lost consecutive games to Golden State since

defeats on Jan. 30 and Feb. 16, 2011.