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April 19, 2017

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California: Game Two

Trail Blazers - 81, Warriors - 110

Q. The Blazers back court, the 75 on Sunday, today you guys hold them to 23. What was the key to slowing those guys down?
STEVE KERR: Well, I mean, sometimes shots go in, sometimes they don't. So we're not going to take credit for their missed shots. They missed some open ones that they hit in Game 1. But I think in general our defense was excellent tonight. We put a lot of pressure on them, and we stayed with it and set a good tone right away. I mean, we held them to 17 in the first quarter. So got off to a great start, and our defense was the key.

Q. Coach, Javale McGee the last two games he's ten for 11 from the floor. Took about five blocked shots in 23 minutes. But tonight he really was a factor. But could you talk about him, because he's making every split second count?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, well, his energy's great. His length, his ability to catch that lob and be a presence around the rim. You know, there is a lot of interesting match-ups out there. Obviously, without Nurkic, they're basically playing smaller lineups. So you know, we're just trying to mix and match at that five spot and find the right combination.

JaVale has given us great minutes in that role, and playing with that athleticism and energy, he's still able to cover their smaller players and be a force around the rim offensively.

Q. (Indiscernible) is that kind of like the game play?
STEVE KERR: It always is. I mean, everybody knows that. Around the league, JaVale is as good as anybody going to catch that lob. Even if he doesn't get it, he's a threat, and you force the defense to react. Our guys made some good passes to them tonight.

Q. What were you guys able to do coming out in the third quarter to keep the momentum going?
STEVE KERR: Well, we settled down. I thought the reason the game got close in the second quarter was they made a great push. Our offense got scattered. We were rushing everything. We were just not poised offensively, and that put our defense in a bad position and they took advantage. They got some transition hoops and really came after us. I thought in the third quarter we settled our offense down which helped our defense.

Q. With about four minutes left in the second quarter, you called a timeout. After that moment Patrick McCaw looked like he was playing with a lot more confidence. Was there a message for him there or was that purely coincidence?
STEVE KERR: Total coincidence, but I'll take credit for it if you told me. I told him, Patrick, go play well, and he played well.

Q. Have you ever seen Klay Thompson rise up and block a shot at the rim like that?
STEVE KERR: It was impressive. I don't think I have seen that. He timed it perfectly. Yeah, that was an incredible play.

Q. McCaw had big shoes to wear let alone fill. What did you like about his game tonight?
STEVE KERR: The thing that I liked was the fact that he was unafraid. He's a rookie. He barely played in Game 1, and K.D. comes back, and he's probably not going to play a whole lot. But the fact that he stayed prepared, stayed ready, and really defended well, I thought his defense was excellent. We asked him to guard Lillard and McCollum a little bit, and he did a really nice job.

Q. Does 2-0 as opposed to 1-1 factor into your decision at all about what to do with Kevin in the next game?
STEVE KERR: It could. We'll have to talk to Kevin and the training staff to see how he's doing. We're fortunate that we've got the next couple games or next couple days off. If he's ready to play, he's going to play. But if there's any question, then we won't play him. We've got to get him healthy.

Q. Just talk about the contributions you got across the board tonight with the three guys out.
STEVE KERR: Well, the bench was great. Scored a lot of points, really came through for us. I thought Andre was tremendous pushing the ball, and David West made some great passes to Ian. You know, I thought we talked about JaVale a little bit. He made a huge impact. So we feel like we have a very deep team and we needed that tonight. We needed every guy, and they came through.

Q. With Durant out of the lineup, do you have to make defense an emphasis or is this something the players just understand on their own?
STEVE KERR: No, they understand it on their own. They know that that's what our team is built on. People want to talk about the shooting in the back court and all that stuff, but this has been a great defensive team for a while. Since before I got here they were a great defensive team, which has really been the hallmark of this club for the last five years.

You've got to defend, especially in the Playoffs. You've got to be able to defend because you're constantly running into great players. So our guys understand that's the name of the game.

Q. You've got 33 points out of your three big men. How important and how big was that given that Klay and Steph struggled to against their offense going?
STEVE KERR: Zaza got us off to a really good start claude. He made a big impact and then JaVale came in and followed that up with high energy. It was a weird first half. We went into halftime up nine without Steph and Klay really shooting the ball well. So I thought it was a good time.

As I mentioned, I thought the main thing was we had to settle down offensively and not be in such a rush. We were taking some really tough shots and turning the ball over. But our big guys and our bench really did a nice job of helping us gain control of the game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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