Warriors dismiss 16-0 chatter, focused on Game Three
By Frank Pingue
June 6 (Reuters) - So focused are the Golden State Warriors on not repeating the mistakes that cost them last year's NBA Finals that they have not even discussed their shot at becoming the first team to go undefeated through the playoffs.
The Warriors are in command of their NBA Finals clash with the Cleveland Cavaliers after winning the first two games of the best-of-seven series and are suddenly standing on the brink of history as the first team to go 16-0 in the playoffs.
"We want 15-0. That's what we want. We literally have never once mentioned 16-0," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters on Tuesday. "To me it's a miracle that it's even a possibility. It's so hard to do."
"But we are here, we're more focused on what happened last year like in terms of we were up 2-0 and we came here and the series shifted. That's the important lesson, not any historical benchmarks or anything like that."
Golden State held an identical series lead in 2016 when the championship series shifted to Cleveland but split the two games there and then went on to become the first team to lose an NBA Finals after building a 3-1 advantage.
But that Warriors team, which posted a record 73 wins in the 2015-16 season, were not as dangerous as the current squad due to the addition of four-times scoring champion Kevin Durant to an already formidable lineup.
With Durant, the Warriors reached the NBA Finals a perfect 12-0 in the postseason after sweeping each of the previous three rounds and then found another gear against the Cavaliers.
But the Warriors refuse to get ahead of themselves after having lost the third game in each of the last two NBA Finals, both in Cleveland, and know they will have to snap that streak to even give them a shot at going 16-0 in the postseason.
"We have a huge hurdle to get over tomorrow," Warriors guard Stephen Curry said of Wednesday's Game Three.
"To give ourselves a chance at even coming close to thinking about that (record), we need to really, really just lock in and give every effort we have on tomorrow and how hard this 48 minutes is going to be to really seize control of this series." (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)