(Reuters) - Golden State extended their NBA record start to 19-0 with a narrow win over the Utah Jazz on Monday but that inevitable first defeat of the season may come sooner rather than later as they negotiate a tough road stretch and injuries start to bite.
Playing without forward Harrison Barnes, who will miss at least three games with a sprained left ankle, the Warriors needed a late surge to get past the Jazz 106-103 in Salt Lake City, the opener of a seven-game trip away from Oracle Arena.
The Warriors keenly felt the absence of Barnes, who was averaging 13.4 points per game, and after trailing late into the final quarter needed the heroics of Stephen Curry to stay perfect.
Warriors forward Draymond Green told reporters the defending champions had to be at their best at all times as the opposition were going all out to topple them.
“When we show up (to other arenas) if we don’t bring our ‘A game' each and every night we can be beaten,” he said.
“Because everyone else is bringing their 'A game.'”
Steering clear of major injuries helped Golden State to the title last season in their 67-win campaign, but already this year they are without head coach Steve Kerr (back surgery) and will now miss Barnes for at least a short stretch.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)