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May 16, 2016

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California: Game One

Oklahoma City 108 - Golden State 102

Q. Steve, earlier today you said that Russell Westbrook, he's an attack guard, he's hard to stop when he's attacking, but does the same apply for him on defense? He attacked you on defense tonight; he had seven steals. How did he attack you guys defensively?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, he's probably the quickest guard in the league in terms of getting his hands on loose balls, long rebounds, you know, getting his hand in on a steal or whatever. There were several key ones in the second half when we kind of lost our momentum. Careless passes, didn't have the flow to whatever set we were running. And I thought when we lost our aggressiveness and momentum offensively, a lot of that had to do with his speed and aggressiveness.

Q. In the fourth quarter you scored 14 points. Was it stagnation, was it too many quick shots, what did you think was the main problem?
STEVE KERR: Lot of quick shots, way too many quick shots. Five minutes left in the game and we're down four or whatever, and we were acting like we had 20 seconds left. Five minutes is an eternity. We know how we have to play. We have to pass and move and create rhythm for ourselves with our screening and our cutting. And I just felt like we took way too many quick ones that took us out of our rhythm.

Q. Kind of along that same line, Steph got one up quick on your next-to-last possession, is that kind of the same thinking there?
STEVE KERR: I'm going to have to watch the tape to remember exactly which one you're talking about. I don't think it was anything in the last -- it wasn't so much what happened in the last minute. It was what happened really throughout most of the second half. Just quick shots, tough shots, and give their defense credit; they were really good.

Q. Were those quick shots a matter of you guys losing your composure, and how surprised would you be at something like that? Did Oklahoma City play with more composure in the third quarter in particular?
STEVE KERR: I do think we lost our poise a little bit, and that had a lot to do with the quick shots. I think we were trying to rectify the situation in one or two plays instead of letting it play out. So that's something we've got to get better with.

Q. You talked a lot about their rebounding going into this game and you guys had a slight edge in the first half, but second half I think they out-rebounded you by 10. Did you not do something well in the second half or was that just them wearing you down with their size?
STEVE KERR: Well, we were battling. We were battling, and maybe some of the balls that bounced our way in the first half didn't in the second. They're probably going to win the rebounding battle. We feel like we've got to stay close. We did a good job in the first half.

The turnovers in the second half were a bigger deal to me. They're going to get some offensive boards, but I think we had eight turnovers in the second half, many of them we're just out of whack offensively, and that cost us our momentum and kind of the rhythm that we had built in the first half.

Q. Coach, you did mention being aggressive just a moment ago and momentum, was that the same thing going on with your bench, because they only scored 16 points where they normally score 40 points?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, the game just didn't go their way. It's not always points that we look for from the bench, but it was a tough game for our whole team. Whether it was the starters or bench or whatever combination was out there, we had some good moments in the first half, but we lost that in the second.

Q. You went small quite a bit in that game. Did any of that have to do with Andrew not being a hundred percent or was that just a strategic thing?
STEVE KERR: Every game's different, and we're just looking for an advantage and looking for a match-up. That could totally change next game. We just have to get a feel for what's happening.

Q. Coach, they had 10 turnovers in the first half, just two in the second half. How much did you think that was part of how your defense played in the second half?
STEVE KERR: Well, I don't know if that was that we weren't as aggressive or they were just better with the ball. Probably a combination of both. But I do think that was kind of the key number on the stat sheet in the second half, eight turnovers for us, two for them.

They're going to get some extra possessions on the glass, and we can't give them extra possessions with turnovers as well.

Q. Before the game I had asked you about first games and you said the coach who loses the first game feels desperate. Your word. Do you?
STEVE KERR: Sure, we're down 1-0 at home, so, yeah, we need to play better. So you can use whatever word you want. But we'd like to win Game 2.

Q. In the first half you guys were getting out running and you seemed to get a lot of fast-break points. In the second half that kind of stalled. Were they doing something that pushed you or were you not getting points?
STEVE KERR: We kept fouling them. In the third quarter we fouled so much. I don't know how many free throws they shot in the third quarter. It seemed like 14, 15. So now we're bringing the ball up the floor every time against a set defense, and they're getting points at the line.

If you look at the free throws, that's really the difference in the game, 22-11 in terms of makes. 32-17. Some of that was at the end of the game we had to foul. But I think we have to be able to defend without fouling, and we've fouled too much.

Q. What explanation did you get for Westbrook not being called for a walk right in front of you there in the last minute?
STEVE KERR: I didn't talk to the refs about it. I thought he walked but it wasn't called, so that's the way it goes.

Q. Before the game you were talking about the combination and you were looking for the combination between the big guys. After the whole game did you find a great combination?
STEVE KERR: Well, we need to find better combinations. We didn't play well enough as a team to get it done. So we'll have to figure that out.

Q. Steph had seven turnovers. Did you feel like he was trying to do too much?
STEVE KERR: I thought in the first half he was careless with the ball. You can't throw the ball over the top of these guys. They're a very long-limbed team. He had a couple of those in the first half. It's an adjustment, for sure. Every team is different, and Oklahoma City's a lot different from Portland. Portland was a lot different from Houston. So you have to adapt accordingly with each opponent, and I'm sure we'll make the adjustments and we'll take better care of the ball.

Q. This is the first time you're trailing in a series this season. You trailed a couple last season. Do you want your players, whatever the word is, desperate or whatever, do you want them to feel that or do you want them to say, okay, we've been through this before?
STEVE KERR: Well, we're down 1-0, so it's a long series. Our players know that to win the next one would be good, right? Yeah. So we don't want to go down 2-0. I don't need to tell our players, hey, get desperate because we've got to win Game 2. They feel it, so we'll come out and play better.

Q. Do you feel as if your players may have been adversely affected by the long layoff?

Q. No?
STEVE KERR: No. I don't think that had anything to do with it.

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