NBA

Jazz-Warriors Preview

(AP) - So what if coach Steve Kerr added a pair of extra turnovers to his team's ugly, uncharacteristic two-day total? He made his point that the Golden State Warriors' sloppy play of late must stop, well before the playoffs begin as the record-setting NBA champions chase another title.

"Yeah, 46 turnovers in the last 36 hours, inexcusable," Kerr said of what should actually have been 44 turnovers. "I think the team leading the league averages 12 or 13 a game so some are going to happen, but I can rattle off 10 easy that were just inexcusable. Sometimes the game comes too easy for our guys and they just think they can do anything."

That's largely because Golden State has been so, so good - far better than during that special run to the franchise's first title in 40 years last season.

Sure, the Warriors won a 45th straight regular-season home game Monday night to surpass the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' previous mark and improve to 56-6 overall.

Yes, reigning MVP Stephen Curry became the first player in NBA history to make 300 3-pointers in a single season - with 20 games still to go.

All those milestones can be properly celebrated, Kerr just wants more from this group than what he has seen of late. He wants his Warriors to know one thing about the turnovers after matching a season high with 24 on Monday against the Magic: "That's kind of our weakness."

The miscues nearly cost Golden State on its precious home floor at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors held off Orlando 119-113. A day earlier, they lost 112-95 to the lowly Lakers in Los Angeles with 20 turnovers.

Curry is eager to get back on the court Wednesday night at home against Utah (29-34) as the Warriors try to become even better down the stretch.

"Right now it's kind of an awkward period in the schedule when you have 20 games left and you're trying to lock up No. 1 seed and everybody's talking about the record 73 wins," Curry said.

The superstar point guard scored 41 points Monday in another spectacular outing. It was his 12th 40-point performance of the season - the most by a Warriors player since Hall of Famer Rick Barry's 15 in 1974-75.

"We are winning and Steph is bailing us out an awful lot," Kerr said. "We need to get back to being the best defensive team in the league, which we were a year ago - which we are not right now anywhere close to."

Kerr's club hopes to begin fine-tuning against a Utah team that is averaging just 91.6 points in its last seven games. The Jazz shot 34.9 percent - their second-worst mark of the season - in Tuesday's 91-84 home loss to Atlanta.

Rodney Hood is among those slumping with 10.7 points per game on 32.8 percent shooting in his last six after averaging 15.3 prior to that stretch.

Once a potential first-round foe for the Warriors, Utah has dropped nine of 12 to fall two games behind Houston for the West's eighth and final playoff spot.

"We've talked about when teams raise their level, you have to respond," coach Quin Snyder said.

The Jazz have lost nine of the last 10 meetings with Golden State, including five straight on the road by an average of 17.6 points. They played tough in a 106-103 home defeat Nov. 30 before fading late in a 103-85 road loss Dec. 23.

Golden State will have to keep Rudy Gobert off the boards after he's averaged 17 over his past three games. The center did not play in the December matchup.

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