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May 24, 2016

Steve Kerr

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Game Four

Game 4

Q. A lineup question, which I know you love. I'll try not to trick you with this, but generally did you think the lineup change in The Finals also kind of just shocked, like kind of mixed it up for your players or freshened it up or was it strictly (inaudible)?
STEVE KERR: First of all, thanks for not tricking me (laughing). I've got to remember back, think back. I think the biggest thing with that series was that we had three straight games where we were struggling, so we felt that change was needed, and I think it gave us life. We won the next three games. So that has nothing to do with this series.

Q. Looking at that game, Game 3, was it easy to tell what didn't work because of the Thunder, and what didn't work because you guys were not on top of it?
STEVE KERR: Yes, it was very easy to tell. It was really a combination of both. They played a tremendous game and we played very poorly. And just picking it apart, those things often go hand in hand, but this was really extreme. They did whatever they wanted, and we got pushed back (inaudible).

Q. You won the two series last year when you were down 2-1. Was there any danger at all in relying on those things too much and relaxing and saying, we've got this now?
STEVE KERR: Really? We just lost by 32 points. I'm pretty sure we're not going to say, remember back in November when we lost that game and we came back? It doesn't work that way. We have a lot of confidence in our team. We won 73 games for a reason. We won the title last year for a reason. We're playing a great team, and we know we have to play hard and play confident. All that other stuff, we don't think about.

Q. Steve, since you're down in this series (inaudible) any reason for that?
STEVE KERR: Well, the deeper you go into the playoffs (inaudible). For sure, that's always the case. Obviously this is a long, athletic team, so we've played one good game out of the three. We've got to play better, and that means a lot of different things. It doesn't mean moving the ball up.

But statistics aren't ultimately the same. When you play a team, five, six, seven straight times and you know one another, it's hard to really look at the regular season stats when you play 82 games and all that and expect the same lineup. It's really about matching up with the team you're playing, figuring out how to win. Stats kind of go out the window.

Q. The Thunder is really playing without a back-up point guard. You take Russell out, Durant some. Up until now they've struggled when Russell's not on the floor. They're not doing great without him, but they're holding their own. What are they doing well when Westbrook's not in the game?
STEVE KERR: Well, obviously they're going through K.D. Randy Foye's on the floor as kind of a part-time ball handler, and he's doing his role as shooter and running their offense through Kevin. So it's nothing out of the ordinary. They're a good team. They've found some good combinations that work for them, and they're playing well.

Q. What you said just a second ago about regular season may play into this question a little bit. But from what you saw from them in the regular season defensively until now, do you see big changes in scheme or is it effort and focus? What have you sort of seen change in their defense?
STEVE KERR: To be honest with you, we don't pay a lot of attention to teams in the regular season. We play them three times. They're obviously playing better. The only thing I can tell you off the top of my head is Steven Adams is playing much bigger minutes. When we saw them earlier in the seasons he was playing 25 minutes.

So they found some different combinations that are working for them. And obviously they're playing well.

Q. What makes this such a significant home-court advantage for the Thunder? Is it just the noise, the volume? What is it about playing in this place?
STEVE KERR: Westbrook and Durant. Same thing that makes our crowd great. When you're on a great team and you have a great crowd, they often feed on each other. So when Steph gets going at Oracle, the place gets really loud. When Russell, K.D. get going here, it's really loud. And there is a carryover effect, and I think it's always been that way if you look at NBA history.

But it is loud here.

Q. Draymond's been the focus lately. With that in mind, is there any advice you'd give him for this situation?
STEVE KERR: No, I don't need to give him any advice. He knows what he has to do at this point. He's one of the smartest players out there, and he's aware of the circumstances with the technicals and flagrants and all that stuff.

Q. Ian Clark got in earlier than normal in Game 3. He gave you a real solid hit. What did you expect, what did he give you in that game?
STEVE KERR: We liked the way he moves the ball. And we weren't thrilled with our offense early in the game. Like each game before the series without Steph in the series for the most part, pushing it, moved the ball, and cut and (inaudible). I thought he did a nice job.

Q. You guys lost the rebounding battle in Game 1. You won it in Game 2. What changed in Game 2 what do you need to do tonight to get back to Game 2?
STEVE KERR: More awareness, more focus, more energy. I said after Game 2, sometimes the ball doesn't go your way a few times, but there's always effort and boxing out and making good choices involved, too.

Let's face it, they were making their shots. They were making a lot of shots and we were missing ours. So when that happens, you're probably not going to rebound very well.

Q. Just curious what you remember about being here a couple years ago with the Warriors (inaudible) at that time going into a playoff game (inaudible)?
STEVE KERR: Right, yeah. I did an interview here. I was working the West Finals, Thunder versus Spurs, and Bob [Myers] and Joe [Lacob] (inaudible) flew in. I don't remember what game it was, but they flew in the day of game. We met at an airport hangar. Good memory. It was a good trip.

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