Steve Kerr rebuffed the notion that Stephen Curry’s extended second-half rest was to blame for the Golden State Warriors’ 114-110 road loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

“We can’t expect to just ride Steph game after game after game,” Kerr told reporters, according to ESPN’s Kendra Andrews. “We’ve put the burden of this franchise on his shoulders for 15 years.

“We can’t expect him to play 35 minutes. … If you want to say that him playing 30 minutes instead of 32 is a difference between a win and a loss, I totally disagree with that. We’re trying to win the game. And we’re trying to keep him fresh, too.”


Curry, who was averaging 32.7 minutes heading into Sunday, played just under 30 minutes against Minnesota. He did not make his first fourth-quarter appearance until the Timberwolves led 97-89 with 6:54 to play. It was the 36-year-old’s first time back on the court since he made way for Chris Paul at the 4:07 mark of the third after playing the entire beginning of the frame.

The Warriors, who led after each of the first three quarters, were outscored 13-11 with Curry on the bench to end the third. The Timberwolves then opened the fourth with two threes inside the first minute as part of a 12-5 run, giving them their first lead of the game since it was 14-13 in the opening period.

“I played the whole fourth quarter against (the) Indiana (Pacers) and it didn’t work out, this didn’t work out (against Minnesota),” Curry said about the team trying to rest the 10-time All-Star late. The Warriors lost 123-111 to the Pacers on Friday. “We’ve got to find somewhere in the middle.”

He added, “The situation will define itself in real time. Every game matters as we’re inching closer to the other end of the standings we never thought we would be in. No one is going to wave the white flag and say we are mailing it in. If that means playing more minutes, I’ll be ready to do that.”

Sunday’s defeat demoted Golden State to 36-34 on the season as the Warriors try to hold onto the final play-in berth in the West. However, just one game separates them from the surging Houston Rockets, who have won eight straight and 11 of their last 12.