OAKLAND, Calif. — Center Jermaine O’Neal’s two free throws broke a tie with 1:23 to play and point guard Stephen Curry banked in a back-breaking 3-pointer with 37.2 seconds left as the Golden State Warriors held off the Brooklyn Nets 93-86 on Saturday night.
In getting some revenge after losing 102-98 in Brooklyn on Jan. 8, the Warriors (34-22) ran their winning streak to three games and improved to 12 games above .500 for first time since finishing last season 47-35.
After Nets backup big man Andray Blatche scored on a layup to offset two free throws by Warriors power forward Draymond Green for an 86-86 tie with 1:36 to play, O’Neal dropped in his two free throws — in three attempts because of an Andrei Kirilenko lane violation — for a two-point advantage with 1:23 to go.
Curry’s 3-pointer followed a miss by guard Joe Johnson and subsequent Nets turnover after Blatche had gathered the offensive rebound.
The Nets, finishing off a night in which they shot 2-for-21 from 3-point range, did not score in the final 1:36.
O’Neal’s free throws capped a 23-point, 13-rebound double-double, his first for the Warriors. Both totals were season highs.
Green, thrust into a starting role with both Warriors big men (Andrew Bogut and David Lee) out of the lineup, had a second Golden State double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Curry added 17 points.
Down 66-55 with 3:09 remaining in the third quarter, the Nets got their first 3-pointer of the game — by reserve guard Alan Anderson — in a 9-2 run that closed the quarter and narrowed the gap to four. Brooklyn had missed its first 11 from beyond the arc.
When Blatche opened the fourth quarter with an interior hoop, the Nets were within 68-66.
Brooklyn then misfired on four subsequent 3-point attempts with a chance to tie or take the lead before Johnson dropped in a 17-footer to get the Nets even at 84 with 2:23 to play.
Point guard Deron Williams led the Nets (25-28) with 20 points. Johnson chipped in with 15 and Blatche 14 for the Nets, who were playing for the third time on a seven-game trip.
The Warriors led by three at halftime despite having seven more field goals than the Nets and forcing the visitors into 12 turnovers that turned into 11 Golden State points.
Brooklyn was at its worst in the first 4:40 of the game, during which it missed five of its six shots from the field and gave the ball away four times en route to a 13-2 deficit.
The Warriors led by as many as 12 in the first quarter, then found themselves behind 46-44 before scoring the final five points of the first half on a three-point play by O’Neal and a Curry jumper.
NOTES: The Nets entered the game having gone 12-6 since taking a 13-21 record into their Jan. 8 meeting with the Warriors, which Brooklyn won 102-98. The Warriors, who took a 10-game winning streak into that game, was 9-9 since then before Saturday’s action. … Warriors coach Mark Jackson, a Brooklyn native, said, “I think we deserve a little bit of credit for their turnaround.” … SF Paul Pierce disclosed before the game that he plans to reach out to former teammate PF Glen Davis about signing with the Nets. Davis became a free agent on Friday when his contract was bought out by the Magic. … SG Marcus Thornton, acquired Wednesday in a trade with the Sacramento Kings, was unable to make his Nets debut because of food poisoning. He remains a possibility for Sunday’s game in Los Angeles against the Lakers. … The Warriors announced before the game that C Andrew Bogut would accompany the team on its six-game Eastern swing that tips off Monday in Detroit, with an eye on returning to the lineup during the 10-day trip. Bogut has missed the last seven games with inflammation in his left shoulder. … Warriors PF David Lee, who missed Saturday’s game with a stomach flu, had scored at least 20 points in each of his last four meetings with the Nets.
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