Programming note: Warriors-Suns coverage starts Sunday at 4:30 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
The pursuit of perfection is going to end. It always does in the NBA. The league's last undefeated team only hopes it doesn't end Sunday night.
That's when the Warriors (5-0) confront their greatest physical challenge of the season. Coming off 98-87 win over the Rockets on Saturday night in Houston, the Warriors arrived in Phoenix early Sunday morning and have little time to catch their breath before facing the Suns at US Airways Center.
Though the Warriors are asking a lot of themselves, simply from a fatigue level, they also realize the perfect record has been achieved despite flawed performances. The Warriors, who average a league-high 21.6 turnovers per game, committed a season-high 26 in Houston.
"We turned it over time and time and time again,'' coach Steve Kerr said. "I don't know how we're 5-0 the way we just toss the ball around. It's bizarre.
"But we're 5-0. So that's good. We like that part.''
They're 5-0 because they're deep and talented and can be gritty if the situation calls for it. The Suns (3-3) present just such a situation. If they want to be the first Warriors team to go 6-0 since the team moved to California, they'll need to treat the ball with more respect.
"If we want to get where we want to be, we have to value the ball,'' Kerr said. "If we do that, the sky's the limit.''
It's a homecoming of sorts for Kerr, who spent the better part of a decade as a general manager or consultant for the Suns and has yet to finalize the sale of his small stake of the franchise. Associate head coach Alvin Gentry ran the team under Kerr, and Leandro Barbosa was one of their players.
"It'll be fun, just to see a lot of old friends in Phoenix,'' said Kerr, who noted that he and his assistants would not game-plan for the Suns until Sunday morning.
That storyline is not the priority. Getting better, while continuing to win, is the daily ambition.
"We're not there yet,'' center Andrew Bogut said. "That's the scary thing. We probably played a good game for maybe a half (Saturday night), and still pulled out a win. (Opening night at ) Sacramento was the same. We've had some games we haven't played well but to pull out a victory is a great sign. We have a lot more work to do. We think our ceiling is still not even close.''
MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Stephen Curry vs. Goran Dragic. It's the All-Star vs. the near All-Star and if one clearly outshines the other, it gives a decided edge to his team.
Klay Thompson vs. Eric Bledsoe. Thompson's task will be to contain Bledsoe, a terrific athlete who is going to have trouble trying to defend Thompson, who is five inches taller.
Draymond Green vs. Markieff Morris. This one could leave blood on the court, as both are willing to scrap and claw and wrestle. Morris is the bigger physical specimen, but Green won't let that bother him.
KEYS TO VICTORY: 1) Control the pace. Both teams want to run, but the rested Suns might be in better position to do so. 2) Snort and grunt. The Suns are physical up front, so the Warriors big men are going to have to bang their way to success. 3) Trap the mouse. Thomas is one of those rare reserve players who can take over a game, and the Warriors will suffer if they let the little man get loose.
INJURY UPDATE: Warriors – F David Lee (strained left hamstring) is out indefinitely and will be reevaluated the week of Nov. 16.
Suns – F T.J. Warren (left thumb fracture) is questionable.
SERIES HISTORY: The Warriors have won eight of their last 10 against the Suns, including a split (2-2) of four games last season.