With lofty win total unlikely this year, here's a number the Warriors can chase

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AP

With lofty win total unlikely this year, here's a number the Warriors can chase

OAKLAND -- Getting to 73 wins is impossible for the Warriors, and the pursuit of it never entered their minds.

Reaching 69 wins, their average in three seasons under coach Steve Kerr, is highly improbable.

Even winning 67 games, the lowest total under Kerr, is extremely unlikely.

There is, however, a number the Warriors are aiming for that also happens to be within their grasp -- but only if they can fight through the regular-season malaise and break an unhealthy tendency.

They can get to 35 victories at Oracle Arena. Currently 16-6 at home, the Warriors would have to go 19-0 to reach 35, and it’s possible insofar as they are less than two years removed from posting an NBA-record 54 consecutive wins at home.

Can a team that once went 14 months without losing at Oracle summon a three-month stretch of perfection at home?

The schedule invites the possibility, but it’s still up to the Warriors and how they cope with tug of three long seasons and that tendency to float a bit in front of their home fans, two factors that have had more effect at home than on the road.

“In general, the appropriate fear we always talk about, it’s there on the road for most games and it’s not there as much at home,” Kerr conceded Monday.

Kevin Durant used different phrasing but echoed the comments of the coach.

“You tend to relax a bit when you’re at home because you’ve got your home crowd,” he acknowledged. “You’re just comfortable in that situation. You can go home and go to sleep in your own bed after the game. So you relax a bit.

“On the road, it just feels like this is the last game of your career. It just feels that way, especially when you’re playing a tough opponent and somewhere with a crowd that’s going to be really, really into it.”

Having gone 39-2, 39-2 and 36-5 over the last three seasons, the Warriors are assured of having their worst home record under Kerr. Still, 35 is not impossible.

The drop is not unanticipated, as Kerr experienced something similar as a member of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, when they won three straight championships as their regular-season wins steadily dropped, from 72 to 69 to 62.

“Where it has truly been the most tangible and palpable is home games against lesser opponents,” Kerr said. “We’ve lost six. Maybe two of those are playoff teams.

“We didn’t lose those games the last the last three years. We dominated the home floor. That’s where it really shows.”

The Warriors have lost at home to the Rockets, Pistons, Kings, Nuggets, Hornets and Clippers. Only Houston is a playoff lock. Detroit, Denver and the Clippers are on the fringe of the postseason race. Charlotte is a longshot, Sacramento a no-shot.

The Warriors, in every home loss, have started drowsily or played too carelessly or were self-destructive enough to give back a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.

“This is the first year in my four years where we’ve lost a lot of home games that we shouldn’t,” Kerr said. “That just points to emotional fatigue. Trying to get up for 82 games is a difficult thing, especially in Year 4 of a quest to get back to The Finals.”

Coming off a successful road trip during which they won four of five games, the Warriors this week face the Knicks, Timberwolves and Celtics -- the latter two being playoff locks.

A home sweep is difficult, of course, but hardly inconceivable. And if the Warriors can pull that off, they’d have only four remaining home games against teams fighting for a top-four playoff slot: the Thunder and Spurs twice each.

Oklahoma City appears to be getting their act together. The Spurs, while still formidable, are starting to look like a team in decline.

They’re also the two teams most likely to get the full attention of the Warriors, who began the week by sitting through video of their last three games, during which they committed numerous hideous errors.

The message: Their unforced mistakes are the surest route to defeat.

“There are key points of the year where we have to hit the reset button in terms of our priorities,” Kerr said. “Right now is one of those times. This is an important week for us. We need to take care of the ball. We need to be smart and make good decisions. If we do that, we’re really, really hard to beat.”

Durant responds to Capela's bold claim by taking shot at Rockets center

Durant responds to Capela's bold claim by taking shot at Rockets center

After the Rockets beat the Warriors on Saturday night, Clint Capela made the following statement:

"We're confident because we know if we're doing what we're supposed to do, we're going to beat them ... we are better than them."

On Monday, Kevin Durant was asked if he caught wind of Capela's strong words.

"Yeah," Durant answered while smiling. "It's all a part of the game. They beat us twice this year. They should feel confident. Obviously, we're confident and we feel as though we are the best team in the league and we can beat anybody as well. But we can be beat. We can be beat on any night if we don't come to play.

"We don't want to give those teams that type of confidence but we let it happen. We gotta move on and if we end up seeing this team, I'm sure it would be a fun one.

"You hear that from guys like Capela -- who's usually catching the ball and laying it up from CP (Chris Paul) or James Harden. His job is not as hard. When your job is that hard, you know you can't come out there and just say sh*t like that. 

"I don't expect that from CP and James and Ariza and the rest of the guys because they know how hard it is to come out there and do that every night. Capela -- catch and dunk every night so it's pretty easy for him."

Capela recorded 18 points, five rebounds, four steals and a block in Houston's 116-108 victory.

The Warriors (37-10) lead the Rockets (32-12) by 3.5 games for the No. 1 seed in the West.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Bucks fire Jason Kidd; Giannis Antetokounmpo reportedly 'devastated'

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AP

Bucks fire Jason Kidd; Giannis Antetokounmpo reportedly 'devastated'

The Bucks are in the market for a new head coach.

Milwaukee fired Jason Kidd on Monday afternoon, the team announced.

ESPN's Adrian Wojarnowski was first to report news of the firing.

But here's the thing:

The Bucks (23-22) enter Monday's action in 8th place in the Eastern Conference.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 28.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game this season.

In NBA All-Star voting, the "Greek Freak" racked up the second most votes in the entire league -- 2,530,211.

The 23-year old is in the first year of a 4-year, $100 million contract extension he signed in 2016.

He is not a free agent until after the 2020-21 season.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller