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May 22, 2016

Steve Kerr

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Game Three

Game 3

Oklahoma City - 133, Golden State - 105

Q. Would you think it's unfair if the NBA does look at that as a possible suspension?
STEVE KERR: I would think they'd rescind it. No, honestly. Stuff like that happens all the time. There's contact, people's arms, legs flailing. If they think it's on purpose, play the game, you know. This stuff happens all the time. Westbrook kicks out his feet on every three and there is contact, I mean, that's just part of the game. So I don't understand how that can be deemed a Flagrant 1. I think it should be rescinded.

Q. Can you just talk about at what point did the game start to get away from you? Was it on the offensive side, defensive side every single facet?
STEVE KERR: All of the above. I think it was maybe 40-40, 42-40, our second unit came in and did a really good job, and we were moving the ball and we started to get control of them defensively, and then we put our starters back in and they stopped moving the ball, they were taking quick shots, which was just feeding their transition. It wasn't so much turnovers, it was more just bad shots, quick shots, no movement. We weren't forcing them to defend at all, and that's death here because this team is athletic. They're on their home floor. They're going to push the ball like crazy, and they got going in transition, and just opened it wide open.

Q. Steve, did games go this way back -- I mean, when you played, the Thunder was down 43 in their first game to San Antonio, they lose by 34, I think. You guys had them the other night. Now they get up 35 or so on you. What's up with the game today? Has the game changed where you have more blowouts like this?
STEVE KERR: I don't think it's changed at all. I was a Laker fan growing up, and I think it was about 1985 they lost Game 1 in the [Boston] Garden by 45 points and they won the series. It happens.

Q. Steve, sometimes you'll hear a coach or a player say it's harder to come back mentally from a close loss, a last-second loss than a blowout like this. Are you feeling like that now or not particularly?
STEVE KERR: We got our butts kicked, so it doesn't matter whether it's one point or 30, you've got to look at the tape and you've got to figure out how you can be better, and then you come back with a better effort. But they were the more desperate team tonight. They were beating us to loose balls, to rebounds, and as I said, our quick shots just fed their transition and they got their crowd involved. They were fantastic.

Q. Their small lineup with no Adams or Kanter really hurt you tonight, unlike in Oakland. What was it about that smaller lineup that affected you tonight?
STEVE KERR: It didn't really matter which lineup it was. It was, again, the quick shots fed transition, and when they're smaller they're going to be a little faster. So that just happened to be the point where we really stopped moving the ball, stopped cutting, and all those quick shots with their fast lineup out there caused a lot of problems for us.

Q. I know you talked about the offense fueling their transition, but your defense seemed like it wasn't anywhere near what it normally is. What specifically was the problem on that side of the ball?
STEVE KERR: They just outcompeted us. Oftentimes in the NBA the team that is a little hungrier, a little more desperate, they're going to win the small battles. Against a team like this, you lose the small battles on their home floor and you're in big trouble, and that's what happened. We didn't compete hard enough or well enough to stay in the game.

Q. (No Microphone).
STEVE KERR: It's all troubling. When you lose by 30, it's all troubling.

Q. Going back to the Flagrant 1, that's when Oklahoma City went on their run. How much did the aftermath of all that affect you guys emotionally?
STEVE KERR: I don't know. I mean, it's hard to answer that question. It was an important play, but when you lose by this much, you can't point to one play as being the difference, obviously. It didn't go our way, and we didn't respond very well afterwards.

Q. Draymond was 1-for-9, minus-43, just a bad night. What does he have to do to come back? He's your emotional leader. What's he have to do now to get you guys back on track?
STEVE KERR: Just be himself.

Q. Another Draymond question though: You talk about the energy not being there or the competitive level. He is such a key part of that. Do you think he was competitively in this game as much as he usually is?
STEVE KERR: I don't think any of us were. I think I didn't have him ready to play, obviously, and I didn't think any of our guys competed at the level, not just in terms of how hard we're playing, but in terms of using our brains and moving the ball and making them work. We didn't do any of that and we got what we deserved.

Q. It looked like the guys were not only taking quick shots, but they also missed a lot of shots even at the rim. Can you remember a game at all in the last couple years where they seemed to miss so many shots that were open or at the rim?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, I mean, I'll have to look at the tape to see that. But it did feel like we missed a lot of lay-ups, a lot of shots around the rim and our transition defense was bad. We did not have a couple of guys back. There was one play where we had all five guys underneath the foul line, and we got lucky; we made a deflection. Westbrook was running out and we got a deflection and stole the ball. But you can't have all five guys below the foul line. You've got to have a couple back.

So we were not there. We were not there mentally or physically.

Q. You talked about being down 2-1 in a series, but how much different is this challenge with Westbrook and Durant and the way they're playing right now?
STEVE KERR: Every series is different, every challenge is different. We were down 2-1 twice last year in Memphis, in Cleveland. Both times got blown out in Game 3, and we responded well. So we have that memory. I'm confident that we're going to come out and play a really good game in Game 4 and we'll see what happens.

Q. When you played the Thunder and you've got Westbrook and Durant and all those guys, how much do you just know you've got to live with what they can do, and what are the controllables that you worry about when you play against them?
STEVE KERR: Well, you've got to try to keep the easy stuff away from them, and that means taking care of the ball, running good offense, not giving them free throws. I think they shot 25 free throws in the first half. We were fouling like crazy. So they're going to have their points regardless like they did in the first two games, but we can't give them the easy stuff in transition and the free throws, like we did tonight. Thank you.

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