Weary Warriors: Kerr says team 'mentally fried'

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors have turned the ball over 44 times in the past two games, and after a 35-point fourth-quarter surge to propel them to a 119-104 win over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night, head coach Steve Kerr said his guys are eyeing their midseason vacation destinations.

“Hell yeah,” Kerr said. “Guys are dying to get to the All-Star break. We’re limping to the finish line of the All-Star break. But, we’ve got to fight through it to the break and then we need to get the hell away from each other and go sit on a beach and relax and then we’ll be in great shape.”

All-Star Weekend kicks off Feb. 16-19 in Los Angeles. The Warriors — who will be represented by Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson — have six more games to play before then.

“I was hoping you were going to say tomorrow,” Kerr joked.

“… It’s painful obviously that our guys are mentally fried right now,” Kerr said. “So, it’s a good job to just get a win. … Our guys are tired mentally, emotionally. So, we just got to fight through, get to the break and rejuvenate.”

Said Green: “I think every team in the NBA is looking at the All-Star break, wishing it was tomorrow. It’s that time of year. You’re right there, you know it’s right there, but yet, you just can’t quite grab it. So, I think everybody is looking forward to that, but you just got to win.”

Durant, the game’s leading scorer with 33 points, didn’t necessarily agree with the assessment of his coach and Green.

“Nah, I don’t believe so,” he said. “It’s a grind playing so many games and travel. So, we’re trying to mentally keep fighting and keep trying to get better every single game. I wouldn’t say we’re just ready for the break. I don’t think guys are thinking about the break, but it’s weird. You’re like in between, a gray area kind of. We just want to continue to get better and win some games, and once we get into the All-Star break, things will kind of slow down a bit.”

Golden State (41-11) committed 25 turnovers against Sacramento (16-35), one away from tying its season-high total. The Warriors were coming off a 30-point loss on the road to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday, a game they had had the two days off before it. They also had a two-day break before Friday’s game against a rebuilding squad that kept it close for much of the night.

The Warriors shot 55 percent from the field and 52 percent from beyond the arc, nailing 17 3-pointers. Kerr said Golden State “won tonight on talent and shooting the ball. That’s all.”

“We got to be professional and try to figure out ways to grind,” said Curry, who finished with 23 points. “[Looking toward the break] may be the case, but that’s no excuse for turnovers and disjointedness throughout the game. Every team that’s had success has gone through this. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel for a little refresher, but at the end of the day, we got work to do to get to that break. So, we’ve got to find a way.”

The defending champions head to Denver for the second game of a back-to-back Saturday. They won’t get into their hotel rooms until around 4 a.m. local time and it won’t be an easy affair playing in the altitude. Furthermore, four of the next six games will be against playoff teams. It will be quite the battle for the Warriors before mid-February arrives.

“We don’t talk about it, but you got to fight human nature a little bit,” Curry said of approaching the break. “We know how important that post All-Star run is and coming back strong and refreshed. But if we don’t build the right habits and have the right spirit around our team going into the break and finish out these last games, that could carry over and you don’t want to have that negative energy around the team.”

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