LOS ANGELES -- The symptoms have included drowsiness, slow reactions and inattention to detail. The cause? Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr simply senses his players are nursing a championship hangover.
"The physical effort is generally there," Kerr said. "It's the mental approach and it's the focus."
The Warriors found some remedies in a 141-113 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, an offensive clinic that set an NBA season high. The Warriors (5-3) secured an 11-game winning streak against their Pacific Division rival and became the first team since San Antonio in 2010 to win seven consecutive games in Los Angeles.
The Warriors entered the fourth quarter with a 107-86 lead over the Clippers by showcasing almost everything that was lacking in Sunday's loss to the Detroit Pistons. After committing 26 turnovers, the Warriors entered the final period with only 10 turnovers. Stephen Curry (31 points), Kevin Durant (19) and Klay Thompson (13) made baskets as usual. But after finishing with only one field goal against Detroit, Draymond Green entered the final quarter with 16 points while shooting 5-of-8 from the field.
Beforehand, Kerr sensed his players did not need a cold shower.
"It's about not snapping right now. I want to snap. I'm competitive," Kerr said. "I want to win every game."
Instead, he has tried to heed the advice of Warriors assistant Ron Adams: "You have to wait on a championship team. You can't lead them."
"I know that's going to come from my own experience," said Kerr, who won five NBA titles as a player with the Chicago Bulls (three) and San Antonio Spurs (two). "I have to nudge them along to make them understand as long as we have good habits, then we're going to be fine in the long run."
The Warriors (5-3) sure looked fine against the Clippers (4-2). They scored a season-high 70 points on 60.5 percent shooting in the first half. Their 40-point second quarter matched the largest scoring output through eight games.
How to explain the Warriors' split personality on Sunday when they squandered a 14-point lead against Detroit?
"The fatigue that the emotional and spiritual fatigue that sets in when you've been going to the Finals," Kerr said. "That's why LeBron (James) going to the Finals for seven years in a row is one of the most amazing accomplishments ever to play in this league. You feel that after a number of years. The team has a different vibe around that you have to fight through that."
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