Warriors

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.”

Dell Curry weighs in on his son's Game 3 breakthrough: 'The MVP, a shooter like Steph...'

Dell Curry weighs in on his son's Game 3 breakthrough: 'The MVP, a shooter like Steph...'

Dell Curry knows a thing or two about shooting the basketball.

Steph Curry's father made 1,245 3-pointers in his career -- the 54th most in NBA history.

On Monday morning, Dell joined KNBR 680 to talk about Steph's breakthrough from distance in Game 3.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: 'This is my fu**ing house' -- Curry explodes in Game 3]

"Obviously you want to keep shooting and then you want to remember that you're the best in the world at what you do," Dell explained. "Gotta give Houston some credit -- they ran him off the 3-point line. That's why he was getting to the rim because they would not allow him to get open looks...

"All it takes sometimes is one game, couple shots to go down, get some transition buckets and then you're off and running.

"Houston -- their game plan was good the first couple of games at home. But the MVP, a shooter like Steph, it's really hard to keep him in check for three games in a row."

Curry was held in check in the first half -- 9 points on 3-for-11 from the field, including 1-for-7 from deep.

He erupted for 18 points in the third quarter and finished the second half with 26 points on 10-for-12 overall.

And in case you were curious, Steph's daughters -- Riley and Ryan -- call their grandpa Dell...

"G-Daddy."

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

David West now out of the mix? Steve Kerr explains Warriors rotations in Game 3

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AP

David West now out of the mix? Steve Kerr explains Warriors rotations in Game 3

David West was in uniform on Sunday night.

But he did not receive any playing time.

Jordan Bell got the nod over West.

"Honestly, I wasn't exactly sure how I was gonna play the backup-five role," Kerr told reporters after the Warriors' 41-point win. "We went into the game thinking we're gonna see how the game goes and adapt from there.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: 'This is my fu**ing house' -- Curry explodes in Game 3]

"When Looney got in foul trouble, I just wanted to stay with our more mobile defenders on the perimeter, and so I went to Jordan instead of David.

"But that doesn't mean David's out of the loop by any means. We're gonna still need him in this series, and if we're fortunate enough to move on, we'll need him in the next one."

In Game 1, West played only four minutes and was a plus-4.

In Game 2, the 37-year old played six minutes and was a minus-6.

With the way the Rockets spread the floor and fire up 3-pointers, it's a tough matchup for West.

“Houston epitomizes the modern NBA -- 3-point shooting all over the floor, pick-and-rolls,” Kerr told reporters on Saturday. “A guy like David, we gotta pick and choose his spots.”

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