Seven days ago, the Golden State Warriors looked well on track to set a new NBA regular season record. Having acrued a 68 wins, they needed just five victories in their final eight games to make history.
But after surprising defeats to the Boston Celtics and, last night, the Minnesota TImberwolves over the past week, the Dubs' chances of usurping the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' 72-10 record now look slim.
Speaking after their last slipup - a 124-117 overtime loss at home to the T'Wolves - Warriors star Draymond Green identified what he felt went wrong at the Oracle Arena on Tuesday night:
Have your say on GiveMeSport - NBA by taking part in our survey here: http://gms.to/1ZIq9kk
Article continues below
"Focus was the number one thing," Green told reporters after the game. "We lost our focus and when you lose your focus, that's when turnovers happen. That's when bad defense happens, that's when problems happen."
Turnovers were indeed a major issue for the reigning NBA champions on route to just their ninth loss of the 2015-16 season. They turned the ball over 24 times against Minnesota, tying a season-high set against Orlando on March 7.
Article continues below
The turnovers were a major factor in the Warriors giving up an early 17 point lead on their own court against the fifth worst team in the league.
Considering, though, the intense media spotlight surrounding the franchise has intensified as they draw closer to the Bulls' long-standing record, you can perhaps understand why players might lose focus on the task at hand.
Golden State's head coach Steve Kerr, who was part of Chicago's historic season as a player, appeared to agree with Green's assessment after the Timberwolves games:
"You have so much media attention and everybody talking about breaking the record and you lose focus a little bit," he explained.
"The same thing happened 20 years ago. We didn't play well down the stretch. This doesn't surprise me. It's easy to get lost in all this stuff. We haven't been very dialed in of late."
Late season struggles
The Warriors' run certainly hasn't followed the same pattern as the rest of their regular season form.
The Bay Area franchise have now lost two games at home in the space of seven days when, before losing to Boston on April 1, they'd won 54 straight on their own hardwood.
With four games remaining, the Dubs must win them all if they are to reach the hallowed 73-9 record. As things stand, though, the roster probably just want the regular season to be over so they can start focussing on the main task at hand - winning a second straight NBA title.