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June 10, 2016

Steve Kerr

Cleveland, Ohio: Game Four

Golden State 108, Cleveland 97

Q. Steve, were you comfortable with the way you started, the way the first half went even though there was a deficit? And then what happened in the third quarter to kind of soup everything up for you guys?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, we were pleased at halftime. We felt like we could do a few things better, but we were competing like crazy. They were getting so many offensive rebounds. They were making stops, but playing small. Sometimes you're going to get beat on the boards, and that was a problem in the first half. But we walked into halftime feeling pretty good about the way we were competing and the way the game was going.

Q. Did you feel that Steph and Klay were getting the looks that they were going to start making?
STEVE KERR: I thought -- I mean, they each made a few. We had some good possessions. I thought Steph was a little bit in a hurry. He wanted so badly to break out. I thought he took some tough ones. They were switching everything, and I thought if he was a little more patient, he could have given it up and gotten it back, which he did more of in the second half. But all in all, we were very pleased with the way we were playing, and we thought over the course of 48 minutes that it would pay off.

Q. Early on the Cavaliers and especially Tristan Thompson were really hurting you guys with offensive rebounds. As the game went on, not so much. What changed there?
STEVE KERR: I thought we got some really good minutes off the bench from McAdoo and Varejao. They came in, and it may not seem like much, but just a handful of minutes where you're scrapping and clawing, that was important. I thought Andre was brilliant defending and boxing out and chasing down loose balls.

I don't know. In the end we outrebounded them, which seems crazy given what it looked like in the first half. But we just stayed with it, that was the main thing.

Q. Can you talk about how good Harrison Barnes played, especially early.
STEVE KERR: Yeah, Harrison was great. Made those early shots to help us get going. Did a great job defensively. Hit a huge three, I guess it was early fourth quarter. But he was fantastic. I mean, all of our guys played extremely well. We just competed like crazy. It was a great response from Game 3, where we were really embarrassed by our performance.

Q. How were Steph and Klay able to get open for shots? They haven't been able to get open for shots with regularity through three games. Tonight the shots were there, how come?
STEVE KERR: I don't know that the shots were that much better than they've been, I just think they got going. I mean, sooner or later it's going to happen. With guys like that, you can't keep them down forever. Sometimes our best offense is our defense, and we were making stops and we were able to get out and run and kind of flow into our offense. So maybe they got a few extra looks from that, but mainly it was just kind of law of averages took over, I think.

Q. Last game you used the adjective "soft" to describe your team. They were not soft tonight. How do you go in one game from being soft to whatever they were tonight? What happened?
STEVE KERR: Well, we felt threatened. I think up 2-0 we came in here and for whatever reason we thought, "Okay, we've got this," and they kicked us in the teeth, obviously. For whatever reason our team's personality, and it's been this way for two years, we can't stand prosperity, you know? We start winning and then we let our guard down, and I thought we did that the other night, and Cleveland played a brilliant game, and tonight we were threatened and we responded well.

Q. Do you have -- I mean, it's impossible to predict, of course, but can you look at your guys in the huddle like going into the fourth tonight and get a sense that a run like that is coming? That a lockdown flurry like that is coming from you guys?
STEVE KERR: Well, we felt pretty good, as I said earlier, about just the way the game was going. We always feel comfortable that if we're competing and defending that over 48 minutes we're going to break loose at some point offensively. So the main focus has to be defense every possession. We did a really good job of defending the three-point line after the first few minutes. I think they hit three threes in the first three or four minutes.

So anytime we're defending like that and competing, we just feel like over the course of the game we're going to have enough offense. It will come our way to win the game.

Q. Couple of questions, one, you talk about your team not standing prosperity. How do you get them to focus on the small job in Game 5 versus what's at stake there? Then the offensive rebounding, Tristan Thompson, for example, really had you going in the first half, and that totally flipped around in the second. What did you guys do to change that?
STEVE KERR: The first part of the question, I've already told our guys Game 5 will be the hardest game of the series. Every closeout game is difficult, but when you're at home, for a strange reason it's even more difficult. You've got, you know, everybody in your ear, you've got friends, you've got family who want to come to the game and want to discuss everything. We have to understand that this series is not over. We came in and did what we wanted to do getting the split, but Game 5 will be extremely difficult.

As far as your second question, we just battled. We just battled, and some of the balls went our way.

Q. You talk often about how every player on your team has a role and has to be ready. A lot of people were surprised when McAdoo came off the bench early. What was your thought process in getting him in the game, and what did you think that he could bring energy-wise or matchup-wise that you made the decision to kind of go to him?
STEVE KERR: Well, he's extremely fast and quick for a front-court player, and obviously with their move last game of going with Richard instead of Love with the concussion, the game got faster and we just felt like McAdoo would hold up well in a game like this. He's a very smart player.

So I thought he came in and did a great job. He played 7, 8 minutes and gave us a huge lift and gave our guys some rest. But his speed and quickness seems to suit this series well.

Q. LeBron James is a player that's got all this experience and obviously so much success. When your guys are faced with the prospect of guarding him and containing him, how have they dealt with that challenge? What have you seen in your players when faced with that assignment?
STEVE KERR: Well, we're just trying our best. He's a freight train out there. You know, we have certain rules and we're trying to follow our rules and just stay in front of him as best we can. But no matter what you do, he's going to have a huge stat line. He's going to impact the game in a thousand different ways, and you just try to make his field-goal attempts as difficult as possible. But it's a lot easier said than done.

Q. You called the team "soft" publicly, and a lot of people were a little taken aback that you would do that. Draymond went even further and said, "We were punked." What impact do you think it has when you guys take it public the way you did and challenge the team and themselves?
STEVE KERR: To be honest, I never even looked at it like I'm challenging them. I was just telling the truth, and they know the truth. We were soft. So I wasn't offending any of our guys. They'd be offended if they weren't soft and I called them soft. But I think everybody here would agree we were awfully soft in Game 3, and we came out and competed much better tonight.

Q. Seven turnovers for LeBron tonight, I think 5 last game, 7 the game before. How are you able to get him to turn the ball over at that rate?
STEVE KERR: I have no idea. I mean, it's just the way the game goes. LeBron does so much for them. He handles the ball, makes so many plays. Much like Steph, he's going to be a guy who has some high-turnover games. It's not anything we're doing, it's just I thought we defended really well. We stayed home. We did our work on him. Tried to stay in front of him, and that's just a number. It doesn't mean anything to me.

Q. Beyond the law of averages, was there any point in the first half or any indications you got while observing Steph to see that he was sort of more like himself tonight?
STEVE KERR: Well, he hit an incredibly tough baseline shot right in front of our bench that was, I don't know many people on the planet who could make that shot. So when he made that shot, that was a good indication he was feeling better about himself and about the way the game was going.

But, again, he's Steph Curry. He's the MVP for a reason. He doesn't have the size and the strength to dominate a game physically, so he has to dominate with his skill, and that's not an easy thing to do because your shot sometimes isn't going to go in.

But he has a lot of faith in himself, and he trusts his shot and he just kept firing, and tonight they went in.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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