OAKLAND -- The Warriors' quest for 73 wins has come at a cost, and coach Steve Kerr thinks that might have become clear to his players in the aftermath of their most recent game.
"I think what they probably realized is that maybe all the talk and all the focus on the record has gotten us away from our process and what makes us who we are, what makes us pretty good," Kerr said Saturday, the day after a 109-106 loss to Boston dropped the team's record to 68-8. "I think the whole focus now the last six games is let's just play well. Let's just be us, and let's make hard cuts and set good screens and be crisp offensively and smart defensively. And whatever happens happens.
"I do think that the constant questions and talk about all the stuff -- whether it's the home wins streak or the record or whatever -- I think all that stuff does take its toll whether the players know it or not or whether it's a conscious thing or not."
The Warriors committed 22 turnovers Friday night in suffering their first home loss in 55 games. They seek to rebound Sunday against the Portland Trail Blazers with more history on the line. The Warriors have yet to lose back-to-back games, something no team ever has done for an entire season.
But all the talk of records can have a negative effect on the best of teams. Kerr would know.
The 1995-96 Bulls lost two of their last four home games to finish the season. Kerr noted that even in the game when they broke the record for single-season wins with 70, it was an 86-80 victory they had to grind out against an under-.500 Milwaukee Bucks team.
"It was just constant scrutiny, a little slippage in our execution, eking out wins, so it does feel the same," Kerr said.
Warriors forward Harrison Barnes said the Warriors have piled up so many victories this season that it can mask some of the things they can do better.
"Little things like the turnovers, screens, cutting, being just careless and just loose with how we execute," Barnes said.
"I think we're winning games, but maybe not doing the things we need to do."
Kerr said the focus remains on winning the NBA championship again.
"A championship goes up on the wall," Kerr said. "Records are broken. People break records. Championships last forever."
Festus Ezeli practiced and was upgraded to doubtful after having missed nearly eight weeks recovering from knee surgery.
Andre Iguodala practiced but remains out after having missed three weeks due to a sprained ankle suffered when he collided with the Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard on March 11 in the last game between the two teams.
"He was just playing basketball," Iguodala said of Lillard, the Oakland native. "From being around him a few times that I've been around him, I think he's a good person, and I like him a lot. He plays hard. It wasn't intentional. I know that for sure, so it's going to happen. You can't put the fault on somebody for trying to make a play for their team."