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April 28, 2018

Kevin Durannt

Oakland, California: Game One


Warriors 123, Pelicans 101

Q. Kevin, some different match-ups in this game. You were guarding Holiday and you got Mirotic guarding you. What were those match-ups like for you?
KEVIN DURANT: Man, just about playing hard every possession. Just, you know, knowing when to help, when not to help, and you know, you play in this league -- I've played in this league for so long and I've seen so many different players and played against both of those guys plenty of times.

Just knowing what the game plan is and stay solid and use my length as much as possible on defense and offense just be aggressive.

Q. Early the second quarter they pulled into a tie and then you guys called a time-out and came out and kind of rumped them. Describe just the feeling of that run you guys had that took them out of the game that second quarter.
KEVIN DURANT: Loon blocked the shot, blocked Rondo's shot and that kind of got us going. He played great tonight. I think that was the turning point for us when he got that shot at the rim. That just gave us some energy and got our crowd into it, as well and we was able to string together some stops and get out on a run. This team is dynamic on the offensive end, the Pelicans, so we know we have to be on point every possession if we want to win.

So I thought Loon did a great job of helping Draymond after he got beat off the dribble and beating him at the rim. Him and Draymond did a great job on the glass and just guarding. Draymond was guarding everyone and Loon was doing a good job of switching. We're going to need that going forward but I think that's what helped us on that run was that block.

Q. How were you able to dominate the second quarter scoring the 41 points?
KEVIN DURANT: We just got stops. We slowed down a bit. They got loose in transition a couple times early on. E'Twaun is a great cutter and got a couple easy shots in transition. You know, AD got some tough shots early on, as well.

We've just got to stay disciplined and don't get discouraged when they make those shots and get back on defense as quick as possible?

Q. Some of the hustle plays, Draymond flying out-of-bounds to save a ball. How much do those lead to the stops and defense keying the transition game?
KEVIN DURANT: Well, Draymond's energy and intensity is key for us and definitely helps us when we are at home, as well because the fans know who Draymond is and they are looking for that every time down from him.

Once he does it, you can just hear the crowd just roaring and it's almost like when Steph get a wide open three, you hear the crowd about to explode, same thing happens when Draymond hustles out-of-bounds, get a block and does a great job and get a steal, the crowd enjoys that and I think we feed off our crowd. He was great tonight.

Q. When you see Klay hit back-to-back threes and the crowd gets so excited just being on the court and feeling that excitement, what's that like?
KEVIN DURANT: Well, it's definitely fun when you've got so many people that come and watch a game and enjoy basketball as much as you do. For me, that's what I get excited about, just seeing people that enjoy it and enjoy, you know, skill things, like a jumpshot and backcut or a hustle play. It makes me just happy that so many fans enjoy seeing that.

But as a player, it's just like, hopefully he makes a shot and we all get back on defense and get a stop again, so I'm all about get a stop, get a score, try to get another stop and then that's how we kind of build leads and that's what I think about as a player but just as a fan of the game, you just enjoy so many people that love what you love. It's pretty amazing.

Q. What was your reaction when you saw what your starting lineup was going to be, kind of different?
KEVIN DURANT: No reaction at all. We trust everybody that's on our team and Nick didn't play much last series, but Coach trusts him and he's a veteran. He stays ready and so we were excited. Like I said before, I think we can play different styles. This team had to switch their style up. The Pelicans had to switch their style up when their center went out with an injury early in the season and they adjusted, as well.

For us, feel like we have different players, versatile players that can come in and step up for us and Nick was great for us tonight?

Q. You can play different styles but after five games against the Spurs in that kind of slog, did you feel unshackled? Was it fun in that style of game tonight?
KEVIN DURANT: Say it again.

Q. Did you feel unshackled after five games against the Spurs?
KEVIN DURANT: You kind of know what playoff basketball is like and you know what the Spurs are, you know what type of team they are, they are a slow-down team. So we were not expecting a past-paced series. But here, we know this team gets up-and-down.

It's just fun knowing we can do different things out there. I think that's what everybody in our team prides themselves on is doing multiple things out on the floor and when you've got a group of those guys, those type of guys, then you can play different ways in the series, as well.

We know this team is fast-paced and they score a lot of points and they have got guys that can go off and score 40 -- 30, 40 points, so we've just got to be ready for it. I think the San Antonio series definitely helped us out as far as staying locked in on every possession because they make you pay, and the same with this team, as well.

Q. What general problems does Rajon Rondo create for you guys?
KEVIN DURANT: Well, he's got long arms, so he's good at getting in the passing lanes and getting steals. You see he got a nice block on Klay on a three-point shot which is hard to do. He's crafty in the pick-and-roll and he can make any pass, and he probably create different passes throughout his career.

But he can make any pass. He can guard just about anybody. He's nonstop talking out there. Communication is huge in the game, and you know, he's talking to those guys through so many actions and so he's just a quarterback out on the floor and a coach and a point guards and he just does it all for them, rebounder, passer, shooter. We know he's going to be ready to play the next game.

Q. Seems like in the end of the season you were waning defensively and now throughout the postseason it's been the story for you guys. Do you think it was a matter of playing for something at this point or is there more to that?
KEVIN DURANT: No, just a matter of us going over game plan. Discipline more.

Games come and go in the regular season and guys are in and out of the lineup. We were switching match-ups, trying different things towards the end of the season. Right before the game, we didn't really go over too much, you know, game plan stuff.

So we were just kind of going out there and just trying to figure it out on the defensive side of the ball, and as the game goes on, we wanted to keep everybody healthy. You know how that stuff is.

In the playoffs, you've got a couple days to prepare and you know what teams are going to bring and tendencies and you just try to lock in and focus on that: What type of pick-and-roll coverage you're going to play; how you're going to guard this guy on the pick-down; how you're going to stop in guy on a catch-and-drive. We just talked about that stuff more than we did towards the end of the regular season and I think that's been helping us.

Q. With Steph ramping up obviously and looking pretty good the last couple days, any part of you expect him to play tonight? What is it like to not have him and win like this?
KEVIN DURANT: I've just been thinking about how he feels and mentally, you know, because he loves the game just as much as anybody I ever been around and I know he wants to play. I've just been thinking about that, just worrying about how he feels not playing.

But he looks great in practice. Looks great in his work outs and pregame stuff. I wasn't even thinking about him playing because we had a game plan already going from the last series transitioning into this one but we knew he'll be getting close after the first series.

Excited for him to get back just to be in a place where he enjoys most, which is playing ball, and the other stuff, we'll figure it out. But I'm more so excited as his brother that he's out there; he gets to play basketball, something that he loves to do. We'll see what happens next game.

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