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May 23, 2015

Steve Kerr


Warriors – 115
Rockets - 80

Q.  Steve, first two games, Steph was on, but tonight and obviously the entire team scoring‑wise, but what do you say about that performance and how hot he was?
STEVE KERR:  Steph was Steph.  He's the MVP.  He's had a brilliant season.  The shooting is hard to describes because I don't think we've ever seen anybody shoot the ball the way Steph does off the dribble, off the catch.  Seven for nine from three, I mean, it was remarkable, just a tremendous performance.

Q.  There's a lot of, I guess, things you could circle, but would you say it was the lack of turnovers in the first half, the defensive intensity?  What thing would you circle to say maybe was the most important factor?
STEVE KERR:  Yeah, the halftime box score was really telling.  We shot 45 percent, Harrison was 0 for 6, I think Klay was 4 for 13.  We shot 4 for 15 from three.  If you look at that box score, you think, well, they didn't play that well.  We had one turnover, which was an illegal screen on Harrison.  We defended like crazy.  And because we didn't turn it over, we didn't have to guard them in transition.  So we're up 25 points with a box score that doesn't look that impressive from a shooting standpoint.  It's a great lesson for our team.  If we defend like crazy and take care of the ball, we're going to be in good shape.  And because we're us, we decided to turn it over 13 times in the second half, just to keep it interesting.  We're still growing.  We're still learning.  But tonight the first half was probably the best lesson our team could learn and could understand.
It's all about just valuing every possession and defending like crazy and everybody competing, and when we do that, we're tough to beat.

Q.  Will you be hoping for mechanical failures on the plane?
STEVE KERR:  I told you it wasn't a big deal.  You guys were making this huge deal out of a plane being four hours late.  I mean, we're sleeping in the Four Seasons and we're eating catered meals.  We live the life in the NBA.  We're four hours late.  You guys need to settle down.  No big deal.

Q.  I guess that was a lot of poise, professional, very businesslike mentality.  Did you sense that they were bringing their A game coming into this game?
STEVE KERR:  I did.  I felt like we didn't play our best the first two games, but we played well enough, and it reminded me a little bit of the Memphis series.  Our defense was regular‑season good but not championship good.  We were making too many mistakes.  I felt like we were ready to play our A game, which we did in the first half.  It was a terrific defensive effort.  We did the job on James, who's so hard to slow down, but we did a much better job on him.  We covered up some of the mistakes that we made in Games 1 and 2, and again, just taking care of the ball and valuing every possession, and we were sharp.  But we sort of felt like it as a staff, we felt like we were due to have that type of effort.

Q.  Obviously Steph is special, but what were your impressions of what you got from Bogut and from Ezeli?
STEVE KERR:  Bogut was terrific.  Both guys were in foul trouble most of the night, but the option to have Festus out there against someone like Dwight is a real luxury.  He's athletic.  He's strong.  He's really come a long way this year defensively, and he played big minutes, but both those guys were really important to our defense, just anchoring the paint and protecting the rim.

Q.  Were you grateful for the 12 second‑half turnovers so you'd have something to tell them tomorrow?
STEVE KERR:  Not quite.  Not quite.  I'm waiting for that game where we can value every possession both halves.  But it was‑‑ as I said, it was a good lesson for us in the first half, just the way it all unfolded.

Q.  What did you like specifically about what you guys did defensively to Harden tonight?
STEVE KERR:  I mean, it's hard to stop him.  I mean, he's got an incredible pace to his game.  He sees angles.  He gets into the cracks of the defense, and there's little subtle things that you try to do that he may exploit, he may not.  But I just thought we did a better job taking away some of the angles that he was attacking us on in the first couple games, and then he missed some shots that he hit in Games 1 and 2, also.

Q.  When you talk about Steph shooting it like we've never seen, what in your eyes distinguishes him or makes him different than other great shooters we've seen in the past?  What's his special thing?
STEVE KERR:  I think it's the ball handling that leads to the shot.  People ask me all the time who I would compare him with.  I played with Mark Price years ago.  Mark had a skill set that was really fun to watch, great ball handler, quick, pull‑up on a dime.  Steve Nash, although Steve really preferred to make the pass, and he was a reluctant shooter at times, could still shoot off the dribble, but I don't think we've seen anybody this quick, ability to create space and then pull up from six, seven feet beyond the line, with this kind of fearlessness and confidence.  He's really something.

Q.  It seemed like you switched things up in terms of who was guarding Harden a bit and had Steph on Ariza for a stretch.  What went into the thinking on how you handled your perimeter defense in this game?
STEVE KERR:  You know, with any great player, you just have to give them different looks.  You can't feed them the same thing over and over again, so we just tried to mix it up a little bit more tonight.  Harrison guarded him well, started on him.  Klay, Andre, Shaun Livingston had a crack at him, and we did some switching and that kind of stuff, like we always do.  But I think that's the strength of our team is our versatility defensively and our ability to try different things because we have so many like‑sized players who are capable of guarding multiple positions.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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