OAKLAND, Calif. – The Golden State Warriors' biggest opponent in their quest to break the NBA's regular-season record for wins could very well be their own coach.
The Warriors entered Thursday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 54-5 record, putting them on pace to beat the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' NBA record of 72-10. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he is more worried about getting his players' rest before the playoffs arrive in late April than trying to break the Bulls' mark.
"Resting, that will take precedence," Kerr said. "We will rest guys if they need it before we will go for any kind of streak or record, that's for sure."
Stephen Curry isn't surprised by Kerr's plan.
"That is how I assumed he would handle it," Curry told Yahoo Sports. "Obviously, the big picture is always the most important trying to win a championship. Case in point, like tonight [against Oklahoma City], they put Andre [Iguodala] on a minutes restriction knowing he is probably the best matchup for KD [Kevin Durant]. Not worrying about that per say but making sure he is going to be healthy long-term.
"Little decisions along the way like that are about keeping us healthy, keeping us fresh as opposed to … what might be best for that particular night to get a win. We will see how that manifests. Hopefully, there won't be too many decisions that he will have to make along the way."
While keeping his key players in rhythm is important, Kerr trimmed their minutes down the stretch last season. Curry played a season-low 30.3 minutes per game in April last season after averaging at least two more minutes in the other months of the season. The Warriors went on to win the 2015 NBA championship after winning a franchise-record 67 regular-season games last season.
"In the end, it's still the title that matters the most," Kerr said. "Having said that, this team, one of the reasons they are special is they take so much joy in the process of each game. They don't talk much about records. But our guys have a lot of fun from one night to the next.
"I think that's part of our success. It comes from enjoying everything every day."
Curry isn't opposed to the Warriors pursuing the record.
"As long as we do it the right way, as long as we keep the focus," Curry said. "It would be a huge accomplishment because they are still talking about that Bulls team. For someone to come along and chase our potential record would be something special.
"Honestly, if we are a 70-win team and champions versus a 73-win team and depleted energy and banged up going into the playoffs, we're trying to avoid that. But at the same token, it's a tough balance. How many times are you going to have this opportunity?"
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