VIDEO: Highlights from Wednesday’s games
NEWS OF THE MORNING
No. 1: Kerr won’t stop Warriors from chasing 73 — As the Golden State Warriors have rolled through the 2015-16 season, their success has been compared against that of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who set the NBA single-season record for wins. That Chicago crew amassed 72 wins and Golden State is more than on pace to break that mark. Yet questions remained about whether or not coach Steve Kerr (a reserve on that 1995-96 Bulls team) would led the Warriors pursue the mark … or rest his players for another Finals push. Wonder no more, writes Tim Kawakami of The Mercury News, as both Kerr and star Stephen Curry backed the team’s push for history:
The Warriors are going for 73 regular-season victories — to top the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who went 72-10 — on their way to an attempt at repeat championships.
Because: Why not?
After weeks of hints and evasions, coach Steve Kerr and star Stephen Curry all but made the official announcement in the hours before Wednesday night’s 114-98 victory over the Clippers at Oracle Arena.
That performance raised the Warriors’ overall record to 64-7, their home record to 33-0 (no team has ever gone undefeated at home for a full regular season) and put an exclamation point on their grand stretch-run plans.
It’s all out there, and the Warriors are no longer going to pretend they don’t know it or want it.
“Now we’re right there,” Kerr said before the game. “That’s pretty enticing.
“It’s really the players’ record. I know they want to get it. So we’ll act accordingly.”
The Warriors’ immediate priority is to secure the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs, and the Warriors still have to keep winning games to fend off San Antonio.
And most of all, obviously, the Warriors want to maximize their chances to win back-to-back titles.
A more cautious team — a less historic team — might find a game or two of rest Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green over the next handful of games.
There are risks to going after a record that guarantees them nothing for the playoffs.
But if they’re all feeling good over these next few weeks, the motivation is clear: The Warriors need nine more victories with 11 to play, and it’s right there for them.
The larger point is that this epic season has been fueled by pure competitive fire, and now that the Warriors are on the brink of history, why would they throttle it down now that it’s tangible?
“It’s probably a different answer for each person,” Curry said after the team’s shootaround Wednesday, “but this is probably a good checkpoint.
“Going 10-2 for us is kind of on pace for what we’ve been doing all season.”
“Yeah, this whole idea of setting a record does make things a little trickier,” Kerr said. “It’s the players who are setting a record. It’s not the organization. It’s the players who are doing it.
“So they will absolutely have some say in matters down the stretch in terms of how we approach everything.”
“For us, we don’t want to limp into the playoffs,” Curry said. “We want to continue to play better and fine-tune on both sides of the ball, our execution.
“We want to continue to establish winning habits and a winning mentality as you go into the playoffs.
“Whatever it takes to motivate us at this point, whether it’s just continue what we’ve been doing, searching for that 73, No. 1 seed, whatever it is.”
Also, Curry added: “Sitting out and watching is just boring. I don’t like watching games if you have the opportunity to play in them.”
VIDEO: Golden State tramples the Los Angeles Clippers for win No. 64