Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates a made basket against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on January 25, 2018. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Warriors boat race Timberwolves with room for improvement

OAKLAND — Steve Kerr wasn’t happy with the Golden State Warriors after their last loss against the Houston Rockets on Saturday. He spoke of shaking things up the following Monday at the team’s facility in downtown Oakland.

“There are key points in the year where we have to hit the reset button in terms of our priorities. Right now is one of those times,” he said. “This is an important week for us, from the standpoint of we need to take care of the ball. We need to be smart, make good decisions. If we do that, we’re really really hard to beat.”

On Thursday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Warriors continued to answer Kerr’s call in a 126-113 win. Golden State threw 37 assists with just 15 turnovers. In the two games since Kerr’s call to action, his team has distributed 77 assists.

In the latest installment, it led to easy 3-pointers. The Warriors made 21-of-37 from deep. They set season highs for 3-pointers made and 3-point shooting percentage.

“It says they’re really talented and they can make shots in a flurry,” Kerr said after the game.

There were imperfections to their performance, obviously. Kerr implied he wasn’t happy with the defensive effort. It was the first thing he brought up postgame when asked if the team’s hot shooting made him want to cancel shootarounds before every game — like he did Thursday.

“I’m going to remind them that we go over defense in shootarounds,” he said. “… We lost that mindset tonight, but our guys are so talented that they lit up the scoreboard with 21 threes. They can win games; they can win a lot of games without being totally dialed in and defending at a high level. That’s what happened tonight.”

Call it a reset button or an on/off switch, but the Dubs constantly show that they know when to overpower opponents on demand.

 

And while their main rivals show their vulnerabilities — the Cleveland Cavaliers are in disarray at this point of the season for what seems like the 4th-straight season — Golden State is in a good place and confident they’ll be able to ramp it up when it counts.

Kerr’s bunch can only compare itself to perfection. Sure, they could’ve rebounded better and won the possession game, but it feels greedy to expect them to hit that goal on a nightly basis during the dog days of the season.

The NBA is masterful at providing midseason drama. There’s even intrigue building around the All Star game, thanks to its new format. But there’s no escaping the obvious, defining truth of the league: The Warriors will win another title barring a catastrophic injury.

Contact Jacob C. Palmer at jpalmer@sfexaminer.com or on Twitter, @jacobc_palmer.Golden State WarriorsKevin DurantKlay ThompsonMinnesota TimberwolvesStephen CurrySteve Kerr

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