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NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: ROCKETS v WARRIORS


May 27, 2015


James Harden


OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Game Five

Warriors テや 104
Rockets - 90


Q.テつ James, was this just an off James Harden night or was Andre Iguodala just really, really good defensively tonight?
JAMES HARDEN:テつ You know, he's long, long and athletic.テつ But just the crowd, just trying to play in a crowd, trying to do a little bit too much, and turned the basketball over and gave them easy opportunities in transition.
You know, it is what it is.

Q.テつ You guys played well in the first two games here.テつ How surprised are you that this was resolved the third time here?
JAMES HARDEN:テつ Well, they're a really good team, especially at home.テつ We had plenty of opportunities in this game to take over, particularly in that third quarter.テつ We just couldn't do it.テつ They kind of‑‑ we'd get a stop and then turn the basketball over, or we'd get a missed shot, they'd come back and score.テつ We fought.テつ I mean, that's all we could do is fight, and we put ourselves in a situation where we made it tough against a really good team, to be down 0‑3, so we just look back at it and be ready for next year.

Q.テつ Obviously you're disappointed right now, but will you be able to look back and consider this season a success for the team?
JAMES HARDEN:テつ Yeah, you know what, obviously you want to win the championship, and so we've been through a lot of adversity, a lot of injuries this year, a lot of different guys going down, so a lot of different guys had to step up.テつ We made it this far.テつ Like I said, this isn't where we wanted it to end at, but it was a really good season for us.テつ Next year we've got to be better, and we will.

Q.テつ Given the momentum you built up after coming back in the last series, having to get away in this one, how painful is tonight for you?
JAMES HARDEN:テつ It's tough, man.テつ It's tough.テつ Having opportunities in the first two games here.テつ In the Playoffs it doesn't matter how you get it done, as long as you win.テつ We knew the first two games were going to hurt us and were going to keep haunting us, and the third game we just gave it away.テつ We can't allow that to happen against a really good team.テつ We put ourselves in a position to do something spectacular, and it just wasn't enough.

Q.テつ You've had to carry a lot of the burden on this team all year long, and you go this far.テつ Are you physically worn out, worn down?
JAMES HARDEN:テつ I'm all right.テつ I'm 25 years old.テつ I'm all right.

Q.テつ The kind of the theme across the locker room this evening is that the players are all hopeful that the core group and all the guys can stick together if possible based on what you guys have accomplished.テつ What's your thoughts on that?
JAMES HARDEN:テつ Yeah.テつ Like I said, given what we have, we made it to the Western Conference Finals.テつ Missing some pieces, missing our starting point guard and then D‑Mo who's a key piece to our team, as well, put a lot of pressure on other guys to step up, so they did, but it just wasn't enough.テつ You know, like I said, hopefully those guys can be ready and healthy for next year.
You know, I'm pretty confident as a group that we have.テつ If we have a strong and healthy group, we'll be all right.

Q.テつ You went over and kind of hit Dwight on the head a little bit, sort of like‑‑ were you consoling each other with such a difficult loss tonight?
JAMES HARDEN:テつ Yeah, basically we'll be all right.テつ Just another step for us.テつ You know, Western Conference Finals, we've just got to come back a lot better, a lot stronger physically and mentally.

Q.テつ For having carried the team as often as you have throughout the season, what will be your lasting memory, for you to have such a bad night individually in the last game?テつ What do you think you'll take away from it as a memory from the year?
JAMES HARDEN:テつ Just valuing possessions in the postseason.テつ It's tough.テつ Like I said, the first two games you take away some of those possessions that we gave away, and it's a different series, and so just valuing the ball a lot more, especially if I'm going to be doing a lot of ball handling, just making sure that‑‑ I mean, not give away easy baskets.テつ Tonight was another case for myself.テつ 13 turnovers is unacceptable.

Q.テつ You've always struck me as a guy who's been so calm and measured out there.テつ For 25 years old it's really remarkable to watch your leadership and the way you've emerged.テつ I know it's tough to answer a question like this now because you lost a tough game, but how much fun has it been being a leader and taking control out there and being the guy who wants the ball at the critical time of the game?
JAMES HARDEN:テつ I mean, it's who I am.テつ I try to stay humble, I try to stay level‑headed and be a leader, being vocal as much as possible, making sure my teammates communicate, taking the initiative to go out there and just get the job done.テつ It's tough to lose like this, especially on myself.テつ I put so much pressure on myself to just be really good every single night, and so some cases you're not going to do that.テつ You're not going to be good.テつ Tonight that was the case.テつ It's tough to go out like this, but just looking back on the season, I definitely made an improvement on my game, and so this summer I've got some time to think on another step that I can add to my game and be better and be greater next year.

Q.テつ You came to Houston because you wanted this role.テつ You wanted to be a leader.テつ What are you learning in this process, through these three playoff experiences in that role, and what did you learn out of this trip?
JAMES HARDEN:テつ My teammates.テつ You know, how strong‑minded my teammates are.テつ Those guys never give up.テつ It's been so many cases to where we could have folded, hung our shoes up, but they didn't quit.テつ I think if you can have those guys around you, you're going to be successful more than not.テつ You know, I'm proud of those guys.テつ I'm proud of the coaches, and like I say, we'll be better next year.

Q.テつ Even though you said you were not fatigued, still will it be good to have the summer off?
JAMES HARDEN:テつ Yeah, hopefully‑‑ it would have been nice if it would have been another month from now, but just time to relax and clear my mind and just be ready for another battle next year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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