OAKLAND – No team ever wants to lose a game, but the Warriors grudgingly admitted Monday, after two days of reflection, that the first blemish on their previously perfect record brings a measure of relief.
It took coach Luke Walton, who initially said no part of him welcomed the end of their win streaks – 24 in a row this season, 28 overall – a while to realize this can be a positive.
“I think with the streak being over,” he told CSNBayArea.com after a long pause, “we can get back to focusing on some smaller, more important, detail things. Obviously, you don’t want the streak to be over because of how much fun it is.
“But, I guess, to answer your question, there’s a little part of me that knows we’re going to get some better work in, now that the streak is over.”
Stephen Curry, whose already impressive legend grew noticeably during the streaks, said he was delighted to be home and, yes, there is a positive way to look at the streak-snapping loss at Milwaukee on Saturday.
“It’s hard to say that, because you never wanted to see it end,” Curry said. “It was never like a burden for us to keep the streak going, because every game was fun and a new challenge. And winning is fun. So it never became something we didn’t want to have to deal with.
“But we’re changing the perspective now. Being 24-1 is a little different than undefeated. You don’t have to answer questions about it and, hopefully, no more creative shirts in the stands. We can just play basketball.”
At 24-1, the Warriors still have a commanding lead on the rest of the NBA. And they’ll be home for two full weeks, playing five games over that span.
Being the top sports story on the planet for two full weeks did push the team’s patience and resolve, Walton conceded.
“The focus is in so many other places,” he said. “There’s a million media around. Everyone is talking about this and that . . . and being on the road doesn’t help us either. I think these next two weeks are going to be good for us.”
The Warriors open their homestand Wednesday night, when the meet the Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena.