The Golden State Warriors have been the NBA's best team, but Steve Kerr thought last week they looked like they could use some rest.
Though Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson's breaks were abbreviated, Kerr hopes they'll be recharged when they return to the court Friday night against the visiting San Antonio Spurs.
Golden State (42-9) owns the league's best record and is on pace for a franchise record in wins, holding a four-game edge over second-place Memphis in the Western Conference. Curry, with 23.6 points and 7.9 assists per game, is one of the top MVP candidates, while Thompson has elevated his play with career highs of 22.1 points per game and a 44.0 3-point percentage.
"We've got 31 games left to attack and try to keep getting better," said Curry, who defeated seven other competitors, including Thompson, to win Saturday's 3-point contest. "Our record's great and I think we'll have a great record when the season's over with, but the test for us is just to be playing our best basketball."
The Warriors went into the break winning six of seven, though Kerr said his team looked exhausted. They were sluggish in their final game, going 7 of 27 from beyond the arc with Curry 2 of 10 in a 94-91 win Feb. 11 at last-place Minnesota. Golden State won 89-84 against a 12-41 Philadelphia team two nights earlier.
Thompson came into the break on a particularly cold stretch, going 14 of 50 (28.0 percent) over his last three games. He was 2 for 11 in Sunday's All-Star Game, though he had six assists. Curry scored 15 on 6-of-16 shooting with five assists.
"We've turned the corner in terms of the dog days. These guys should all be refreshed," Kerr said. "Most of them got away and had a good time and relaxed and now the finish line is in sight."
Golden State is 4-0 with three-plus days' rest with Thompson shooting 51.0 percent.
The Warriors are trying to avenge one of their two home losses, falling 113-100 to San Antonio on Nov. 11 despite shooting 54.3 percent. Thompson scored 29 while Curry had 16 points on 7-of-18 shooting. Curry is 17 of 46 (37.0 percent) in his last three meetings and Golden State is 2-22 in the series since April 1, 2008.
Tony Parker matched a season high with 28 points and has averaged 21.2 while shooting 52.1 percent over his last six meetings, though it's unclear if he'll play on the second night of a back-to-back. He's played in eight of a possible 15 while Tim Duncan has played 10.
Both played well as the Spurs' rodeo trip continued Thursday with a 119-115 loss to the Clippers. Duncan had 30 points and 11 rebounds while Parker recorded 21 points and a season-high 13 assists.
San Antonio (34-20), a game back of sixth-place Dallas, let Los Angeles shoot 54.5 percent after holding Detroit and Indiana to a combined 40.8 percent shooting in back-to-back victories.
"That's how we usually beat teams. We grind them over a 48-minute stretch until we're able to pull away with a victory," Duncan said. "We're at the point where we're playing 30 of those 48 minutes the right way. We have the same guys we had last year and the same experience we had last year. It's just about doing it over and over again."
Kawhi Leonard was of 1 of 11 and the Spurs fell to 2-5 when he shoots worse than 30.0 percent. They're 23-6 in his other games.
San Antonio is 10-5 on the second night of back-to-backs.