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May 17, 2016

Dion Waiters

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. Do you feel like going back to the latter stages of the San Antonio series you guys were getting pretty good at winning wars of attrition, and kind of wearing the other guys down?
DION WAITERS: I think we just do a tremendous job of staying with it. Even when we get down early in the game, not folding, just coming out in the second half with a different mentality. We find out ways to finish the game. When we get up, we just try to keep the lead and take care of the ball in those situations, and I think we've been doing a great job of that.

Q. In the first three games you played against the Warriors in the regular season (No Microphone). Yesterday was the complete opposite. (No Microphone). What's been the difference in your composure?
DION WAITERS: As I said, we just find a way to finish the game. Early in the season when we had a lead into the fourth quarter, we let a lot of games slip away. And I think just coming down in the postseason we've just been finding ways just to finish it out. We get up big, just try to keep the lead just to get the win. That's the most important thing is finding ways to get wins. No matter how you do it and how you get it.

Q. Klay scores quick, y'all score and Klay comes back and scores quick off the break. Is there a temptation to come back and try to get a quick bucket?
DION WAITERS: No, we want to get into our offense. That's what they do. Those guys are quick shooters. We know they're going to make shots. Our job is to try to make it as tough as possible and contest. And we live with the results after that. But as long as they're not getting nothing easy, we're fine with that.

Q. How do you explain such a remarkable turnaround in the quality of your defensive play, team defense?
DION WAITERS: I just think everybody's locked in. Everybody's doing a tremendous job of trying to lock down their guy and most importantly just having faith in the back defense. If you get beat by your guy, that somebody else will step up for you. That's the biggest thing with us. Just having trust and having that toughness and tenacity to get a stop.

Q. How important is it to set the tone?
DION WAITERS: As you see in Game 1, we didn't celebrate or nothing. We're glad we got the win, but it's a long series. It's a seven-game series, and one game don't mean anything. So our job is to come out here like today and try to get better, work on your game, and come in with the same mindset we did yesterday.

Q. How important is it to actually set the tone defensively with good offense? Not turn it over, don't give them transition and make them play half court?
DION WAITERS: It's very important, especially in a hostile environment against a great team like that, you've got to take care of the ball. Every possession in the playoffs counts. You can't have no wasted possessions and I think we know that.

You're not going to play a complete game or a perfect game. Mistakes are going to happen. It's what you do in controlling it and how you control those types of things in that type of environment.

Q. Considering the type of shots they can get at times, sometimes they throw it up 20 on the clock and shooting contested threes (no microphone).
DION WAITERS: Yeah, we like it when they miss it. If they miss it, you get the rebound and you're able to go. I think we're dangerous in transition also. So if they're jacking up and taking shots, we're living with it, as long as they're missing though, that's fine.

Q. It seems against their small lineup you have (No Microphone)?

Q. A lot of teams are.
DION WAITERS: No, we're going to stick to our principles, what we've been doing all year. We've got athletic bigs who can run the floor, play defense, rebound the ball. I think they do a hell of a job night-in and night-out for us. We're going to stick to our principles and play OKC basketball and let everything else take care of itself.

Q. Steven Adams, have you seen him take a major leap in the last month or so?
DION WAITERS: Yeah, I think so. He's a guy that works hard every day, works on his body. He's constantly in the gym. So these type of moments you cherish, and I think he's taking full advantage of it.

Q. The Spurs play a slower, bigger game than Golden State does obviously. Does it take a certain amount of time to adjust to Golden State after you get used to the bigs of the Spurs?
DION WAITERS: Everybody's different. San Antonio is a low-post type of team, run the offense, whereas Golden State is up-tempo, catch and shoot, everybody pushes the ball. But I think we've got the guys to match up with them. So we're good on that front.

Q. (No Microphone)
DION WAITERS: When you're in the game you really don't know what's going on. You're just out there playing hard, and you find all this out afterwards. I think we did a tremendous job that night just getting back, getting them to take tough shots. We made plays when we needed to.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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