Why are Warriors playing better defense? 'You get beat up on a few times...'

The Warriors went 4-3 through their first seven games.

The next four: 4-0.

"Last four games our defense has looked like what it's been the last few years -- intense and closing out on shooters and causing turnovers ... we've obviously turned it up big time," Steve Kerr said after practice on Tuesday. "I think we were just finally ready to play.

"We've talked a lot about the shortened preseason and I don't know that we were quite in condition to play when we started the season -- both physically and mentally.

"I think it took a couple weeks for us to get there, but we seem to be there now."

From the opener against the Rockets through the loss to the Pistons on Oct. 29:
- Defensive rating = 108.4 (26th)
- Opponent FG percentage = 45.2 (17th)
- Opponent 3-point FG percentage = 37.4 (21st)
- Opponent offensive rebounds = 13.1 (29th) 
- Opponent second chance points = 16.0 (27th)
- Turnovers = 18.4 (28th)
- Opponent points off turnovers = 22.3 (28th)

The Warriors' four-game winning streak:
- Defensive rating = 93.2 (1st) 
- Opponent FG percentage = 41.7 (4th) 
- Opponent 3-point FG percentage = 31.3 (4th) 
- Opponent offensive rebounds = 9.8 (16th)  
- Opponent second chance points = 11.8 (14th) 
- Turnovers = 14.0 (6th) 
- Opponent points off turnovers = 15.5 (8th) 

"We're just more focused and locked in. We know that we're capable, but we've just kind of locked in more," Draymond Green told reporters. "We're a championship team. We know what it takes ... gotta defend in this league.

"You can't make someone have an edge. It kind of just comes. We knew coming into this year it would be tough to have that edge right out the gate.

"And we struggled with it quite a bit, but you get beat up on a few times and it forces you to pick it up. So it's probably what we needed."

The defense will be tested on Wednesday night against the Timberwolves.

Minnesota is 7th in offensive rating (107.7), 6th in field goal percentage (47.3) and eighth in 3-point percentage (38.3).

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