Golden State coach Steve Kerr insists all the record chasing is finally wearing on his players, though the Warriors certainly aren't showing any signs of fatigue on the court.
After extending their NBA-record run at home, the Warriors resume their pursuit of 73 wins Friday night when they take on the Dallas Mavericks at the scene of one of their six defeats.
Golden State hasn't shown many weaknesses while compiling a 61-6 record, which remains one game ahead of Chicago's mark through 67 during its record 72-win season in 1995-96.
“I thought that record was unbreakable, really,” Kerr said. “The last 20 years, I never thought anyone would come close. There's still 16 games to go and things happen, but the fact that we're here talking about it is a testament to our guys' competitive desire.”
The Warriors won the last five of a 6-0 homestand by an average of 19.6 points. With Wednesday's 121-85 victory over New York, they also became the first team in the history of the four American professional sports leagues to win 50 straight home games.
Despite all the success, Kerr says his team is beginning to wear down. He's taking precautions to slow that process, limiting practice time and picking spots to give guys rest.
“You can kind of see it their eyes and legs a little bit,” Kerr added. “I think you just get a feel as a coach, and as a staff, you get a read on guys as you see how energetic they are or not. It's something that every team that makes a championship run goes through.”
Banged-up reserves Andre Iguodala, Festus Ezeli and Kevon Looney won't make a three-game trip that includes Saturday's showdown with San Antonio, the league's second-best club.
Golden State, looking to avoid its third back-to-back road losses of the season, is likely to be careful not to look ahead to the Spurs because of a 114-91 loss at Dallas on Dec. 30.
The Warriors, however, did not have Curry in that contest due to a bruised leg and Thompson was held to just 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting. Curry had 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting Jan. 27, but Thompson stepped up with a season-high 45 points in a 127-107 home victory.
J.J. Barea led Dallas with 23 points and five 3-pointers in the first meeting. Chandler Parsons finished with 23 points and seven rebounds in January when Dallas played without Dirk Nowitzki and Zaza Pachulia.
The Mavericks (34-34) hope to survive a late-season funk after losing for the sixth time in seven games Wednesday, 99-98 at East-best Cleveland. They're tied with Houston for the West's final two playoff spots, with both holding a slim advantage over ninth-place Utah.
Nowitzki and David Lee finished with 20 points apiece and Barea contributed 17 against the Cavaliers, but the team's rally from a 20-point second-half deficit fell just short.
“We know if we play hard on both ends we can beat anybody, but if it's the third quarter and we're down 20 each time, it's going to be tough to come back against good teams,” Nowitzki said.
The Mavericks are slumping defensively at home, allowing 109.8 points per game in their past 11. They'll try to avoid losing five straight there for the first time since a six-game skid in 1999-2000.
Dallas has dropped eight of the past nine meetings overall versus Golden State.