Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said a shock defeat to Phoenix Suns served as a wake-up call for Warriors after it clinched a playoff spot on Saturday.
The Warriors last week went down 115-111 to a Suns side that is rooted to the bottom of the Western Conference, handing its opponent a rare success in an otherwise disappointing season.
However, back-to-back victories over the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder since that stunning setback have made sure the Warriors – chasing a third successive NBA title – will be back in the postseason.
Warriors head coach Kerr felt being humbled by Suns has done his team a favour in the long run.
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"I think the loss to Phoenix opened our eyes a little bit," Kerr said after Golden State's 110-88 win over the Thunder.
"And I think our guys just felt threatened on the road. We've played two great teams, we've got another one, maybe the hottest team in the league in San Antonio coming up, so anytime they're threatened, I think our guys tend to play better."
Stephen Curry scored a game-high 33 points in an emphatic success despite Kevin Durant still missing due to an ankle injury. Curry has been pleased with the way the Warriors have coped without Durant.
"On the road, these last two games we wanted to start off with the right intentions, the right focus, obviously understanding with KD out we're a little different." said the two-time NBA MVP.
"So our energy and intensity has to be there because you're missing 28 points out there on the floor. It's hard to replace that."