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May 13, 2015

Steve Kerr


Golden State – 98
Memphis – 78

Q.  I know it's obvious you want to close these guys out in the next game in Game 6.  My question is, is it significantly important for a team that wants to win a championship to be able to close out a good team like this on the road in their place?
COACH KERR:  It's significant to win the series.  I mean, obviously, that is the whole goal is just to win the series.  We would love to win it on the road.  I mean, you always have to try to get it done when you can.  You don't want to mess around.  You never know what can happen.  Yeah, our intent is to go down there and play the kind of defense we've played in the last two games, which has really turned the series.
I think I said the first couple of games our defense was good enough, but it wasn't championship defense, and I was wrong.  It wasn't good enough.  This is what it's going to take this kind of defense from tonight and from Game 4.

Q.  Randolph was hurting you in the first three or four minutes, nine points and a few rebounds.  Bogut was on him, you tried Harrison who went back to Bogut.  What stopped him?
COACH KERR:  Yeah, I thought our intensity picked up after the first quarter.  He got a couple of offensive putbacks, which Zach is always doing.  He's on the glass constantly.  We gave him a little too much space early.  Bogut gave him a jumper first part of the game where we wanted to take away his space and he backed off just a little bit.
But for most of the last three quarters I thought we did a good job of just taking away his space and trying to be really active on the backside and making the picture a little cloudier for him.  Because he's such a good passer, you've got to change the look and try to keep him off balance if you can.

Q.  You went on a 14‑2 run in the first quarter and after Steph's three you never trailed again.  Can you talk about that?  Was that a turning point and what sparked it, do you think?  The first ten minutes were not very great.
COACH KERR:  Yeah, the first ten minutes were not pretty.  The crowd was anxious.  I thought we were a little tight.  I thought we came out a little nervous.  We settled in there.  That was the key stretch of the game in the first quarter.  We were down 10, 12, to actually having the lead.  I thought it was a miracle having the lead after the first quarter the way that game went.
But it was an important stretch.  We seemed to get our legs underneath us at that point and that's when our defense really kicked in.

Q.  It looked like Andre Iguodala was having fun tonight just making shots which he didn't do against the Pelicans and it gave you a lot of energy.  What is the difference in your team when he plays like this?
COACH KERR:  Well, Andre is always great defensively.  I mean, he's a great decision maker.  When he makes shots, it's kind of gravy for us.  We have enough scoring on this team even without Andre making shots, which is why he closed almost every game this year, whether he was scoring or not.  He's just a really, really smart basketball player.  When you're doubling and rotating and trying to do some different things defensively, Andre's the guy to have out there.
If you're playing a small lineup and you need a lot of help from your wings to guard the bigger guys and to come over and rotate, Andre's the guy.  When he plays like he did tonight getting out in transition and getting some dunks, getting some threes to go, that's when we're really at our best.

Q.  There is the talk about tempo, your tempo, not their tempo.  How did you get it to your tempo?  This really did seem like the game that you most controlled the tempo.  Was it by the defense or a combination of things?
COACH KERR:  I thought it was almost exclusively the defense.  We sped the game up with our defensive activity, forced some turnovers.  I thought David was terrific.  David came in and he was very active and really fought hard in the paint against Gasol.  But that kind of activity defensively is something that can really induce a faster game, and I thought that was the case.
As I mentioned, the last few minutes of the first quarter with Steph making two or three steals, coming down and hitting a couple of threes, that got the crowd back in it.

Q.  I just was wondering about your assessment of the offense?  Did this feel like a game where maybe the execution wasn't totally on point but the threes were falling?
COACH KERR:  Exactly.  The execution offensively hasn't been good the whole series which says a lot about the team we're playing against.  They're a great defensive club, and they know what they're doing.  They take a lot of what you do and make you uncomfortable.
So I think we just sort of have to keep trying.  We're still making some silly plays.  I thought early on a lot of those turnovers were unforced because we were in a little bit of a rush and tight.  I thought we got better as the game went on.  But, yeah, this team is a great defensive club.  They're making us work for everything on offense.  I don't think we've really hit our stride at that end of the floor, and we may not this whole series the way they played.

Q.  A lot is talked about with Steph and the three‑point shot and the scoring.  But tonight he was a defensive force.  He was disruptive for the Grizzlies.  Just talk about what you saw from him and his impact on the other end?
COACH KERR:  I thought his ball pressure was great.  I think Shaun Livingston, I know you asked about Steph, but the ball pressure in general in the last two game has been fantastic.  Shaun and Klay and Steph really getting into the ball handlers and trying to make them uncomfortable.  That's set a good tone for us the last couple of games.  We've talked about Steph's defense all year.  It's much improved.  We've slid him over to off the ball with Conley handling it and getting Klay on him.
But it doesn't mean Steph can't be disruptive with a bunch of steals.  He's very smart off the ball.  He reads everything and he knows the play that's coming.

Q.  With all your experience, what is your message going to be to these guys about getting this done Friday night and not having this extend into seven?
COACH KERR:  You just said it.  That's the message.  You don't mess around.  You go get it done.  It's going to be tough on the road against an excellent team.  But if we can continue to play the type of defense that we have shown the last couple of games then we'll have a chance to do so.

Q.  You talked a lot about trust before the last game.  What did it take for Steph to get there and maybe realize that he didn't have to do everything and really settle in?  Now you guys are 1‑2 since then?
COACH KERR:  It didn't take much.  Steph is incredibly grounded and at ease with himself and his game.  He's very coachable.  We watched a lot of tape after the first few games of the series.  We were showing Steph constantly.  He saw it.  He saw it with his own eyes that we were just in a rush, and we're still in a rush, frankly.
But the last two games have felt a little different because I think he hasn't been forcing things.  He's been allowing things to happen, attacking when he needs to attack, and he's done a great job.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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