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June 14, 2015

Steve Kerr


Golden State – 104
Cavaliers – 91

Q.  I know you always wanted to come out of the flow of the offense, but did it seem to you that Steph kind of took it upon himself there for three or four possessions at the end of the game, and was that okay with you, the way it turned out?
COACH KERR:  I called all those plays.  Those were my genius inventions.  No, that was just Steph taking over the game.  But it was a different game, you know, because they decided to go smaller, and so the floor was more open.
I thought from the very beginning when they went small, had their shooters out there, I thought this is Steph's night.  This is going to be a big one for him because he has all that room.  He took over the game down the stretch and was fantastic.

Q.  Do you think it's going to be tough to keep your team focused and in the moment, one win away from something you worked really hard to get to?
COACH KERR:  Well, the closeout game is always the hardest game in every series, but particularly in The Finals.  What I'm excited about is I think we can play a lot better, and that's what I told our team, and I think we can do much better.
I thought we were a little scattered at times, a little rushed.  We had 17 turnovers compared to 7 the other night.  We can be a little more organized offensively.
But all in all I loved the defensive intensity.  We made a few mistakes here and there, but our guys are competing like crazy, and that's what it takes.

Q.  You had Iguodala last game and then this game again, and then Barbosa.  Two guys have been around really gave you a veteran stability, didn't they?
COACH KERR:  Oh, L.B. was fantastic.  He gives us 13 points and 17 minutes when we had a little foul trouble early on, and his defense was good.  But not surprising, really.  L.B. has been around a long time.  He's got a lot of playoff experience, and he's had an excellent series for us.

Q.  Steve, why is the closeout game in The Finals the toughest?  What makes it the toughest?
COACH KERR:  It just is.  There is a lot of emotion.  You're right there on the cusp of something, but you still have to get the job done, and in this case we'll be on the road against a great team.
It's going to be hard.  It's just the way it is.  So we've got to get better.  We've got to play better next game than we did tonight.

Q.  In the level of confidence your players are right now, do you feel as if they can take themselves out of any hole no matter what the adjustments are?
COACH KERR:  Well, it's a very confident group.  They've had a heck of a season, and they're playing, obviously, at a high level.  So they feel very confident.  Sometimes we're a little too confident and we get a little carried away.
But they believe in what they're doing and they believe in each other.  We've got to get on the plane tomorrow and get our mindset right.
There's a long way to go.  The only thought is how can we improve tomorrow?  What can we do better next game?

Q.  After Game 4, Coach Blatt felt his team wore down in the fourth period.  Do you feel like you wore them down today?
COACH KERR:  I don't know about that.  I thought David did a great job mixing and matching off of his bench.  He got guys a little more rest tonight.  He got good minutes off the bench from Mike Miller, and J.R. got going early.
But you never know if you're wearing anybody down.  You just want to keep playing.  Obviously, we want to play as fast as we can.  We want to put pressure on.  And if that happens, then that happens.  But it's hard to tell right now.

Q.  Steve, you said that Andre has been your best player through this series.  I'm wondering what you think of his performance tonight, and also that hack‑a‑Iggy strategy at the end, what did you think about that?
COACH KERR:  Andre was brilliant again tonight.  He does everything for us.  He's our best defender on LeBron.  He's an incredible decision‑maker.  I mean, 7 assists, no turnovers.  He rebounds.  He guards everybody.  When he's off LeBron, he goes on to a shooter and stays at home with the shooters and challenges shots.  He's a brilliant defensive player.
The free throws, it happens.  He missed some down the stretch.  It didn't matter.  It didn't hurt us, and we were able to close the game out anyway.

Q.  Did you like the Draymond running to kind of block for him there at the end?
COACH KERR:  I didn't see it.

Q.  You didn't see it?
COACH KERR:  No, somebody mentioned that to me when I was walking over here, and I didn't even know what they were talking about.

Q.  The minutes that you gave Ezeli tonight, were you tempted to give those to Bogut, or did you just like that match‑up better?
COACH KERR:  I liked the match‑up.  We're trying to play faster, we're trying to get up and down the floor, and Festus gives us a little more push.  But it's just not‑‑ it's not a series for bigs right now the way that everything has unfolded.
I think I gave Bogs four minutes the other night.  I gave Festus three.  But the reality is this is a small series, and it works well for us.  We're comfortable with this style.
But you never know how every game is going to unfold, and things could be different in Game 6.

Q.  You know, the first three games it seemed like they were making all the hustle plays.  Do you feel like your team has taken it up another level in terms of getting to those 50‑50 balls and doing the little things that make a big difference at the end of a game?
COACH KERR:  Yeah, I mean, that was a big point of emphasis for us after Game 3.  We felt like we were being outhustled, outcompeted.  And I think the last two games we've been much better with that.
You saw Andre make a great dive at half court early in the game and get Klay a dunk.  That's what it takes.  It's the highest level of basketball in the world.  It's the NBA Finals, and everybody wants to win badly, but you better want to win bad enough to get on the floor and get after every loose ball and every rebound.

Q.  In the midst of your strategizing and the intensity of a Finals game, are there moments when you can kind of just marvel at LeBron James and what he's doing?
COACH KERR:  Yeah, but it's not that much fun (laughing).  Yeah, he's phenomenal.  He does everything.  But I'm not enjoying the marveling, yeah.

Q.  We have seen the different stages of Steph Curry during the series since Game 1.  What type of adjustments has he made to be at the level of defensive play that you guys were expecting so far?
COACH KERR:  I don't think he made an adjustment at all.  I just think sooner or later Steph's going to get going.  He had a tough first couple of games.  He got going at the end of Game 3 in the fourth quarter, and that's all it takes.  Steph makes a couple shots.  He feels like he's got it rolling, and he's been great ever since.
So it's not really an adjustment.  It's just the law of averages are that Steph's going to make some shots.

Q.  Can you talk about what Draymond Green is doing?  I know he's battling Tristan down there and helping out on LeBron.  What's he giving you guys in the paint?
COACH KERR:  Draymond is just doing what he does.  He's done this all year.  He battles and rebounds.  He plays a lot bigger than he is, but he has the speed and quickness to stay with guards on switches and that kind of thing.
Just his overall hustle and intensity and passion.  I've said all year he's kind of our heartbeat.  And his play the last two games is a big reason why we've been able to get this back in our favor.

Q.  You were already asked about LeBron once, but are there times in the game where you're wondering no matter what we do is he just going to keep coming at us?
COACH KERR:  No, I don't wonder about that at all.  I know he's going to come at us.  I wonder how to stop him.  But he's going to attack.  He's going to have the ball in his hands almost every play, particularly with Kyrie out, and that's the trick, right?  How do you slow him down?  How do you keep him from dominating the game?  Scoring himself or finding three‑point shooters?  And there is a balance in there somewhere that we're trying to find, and it's pretty hard.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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