Warriors' Steve Kerr prioritizing health over No. 1 seed

Home-court advantage throughout the playoffs is important, but it doesn’t mean much if your best players aren’t on the floor — so says Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

Before taking on the Pistons on Sunday, Kerr told reporters both DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala would not play despite the team coming off a 35-point loss to the Mavericks the night before to drop into a first-place tie with the Nuggets.

“Health always comes first,” Kerr said (via ESPN.com). “So each player we look at individually.” 

In that rare blowout loss to a lowly Dallas team, Kerr rested Stephen Curry.

“Every once in a while, it’ll just come up that (team director of sports medicine and performance Rick Celebrini) will recommend let’s give somebody a rest,” Kerr said. “Last night it was Steph. He’s been going a couple months straight. Has looked a little tired the last couple of weeks, so it made perfect sense. I think we’ll be better for it in the long run. So within all that, we try to win.”

But unlike Saturday night, the Warriors rallied Sunday with a 121-114 win over a dangerous Pistons team to move a half-game above Denver atop the Western Conference standings.

“We’re just going for the 1-seed and trying to stay healthy and do all that at once,” Kerr said.

Golden State (50-23) has nine games left on its schedule, and the road to the top seed looks plenty doable with only two games left against teams currently in the playoff picture (Nuggets and Clippers). Otherwise, the Warriors have two games left against Memphis and one each against the Timberwolves, Hornets, Lakers, Cavaliers and Pelicans.