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May 1, 2018

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California: Game Two

Game 2

Warriors 121, Pelicans 116

Q. Can you kind of take us through what went into deciding to bring Steph off the bench and how you think that worked overall?
HEAD COACH STEVE KERR: Well, we knew we wanted to play him 25 minutes or so. Not so much based on his knee but based on his conditioning, and we played really well in Game 1. So we decided to stick with Nick in the starting lineup, and then just play Steph in Quinn Cook's minutes, and then just kind of pick it up from there and see how it went.

I would say it played out as I expected. I knew I would play him more than what we planned. I think we planned on 24 and he got to 27, but he was, you know, he was Steph. He doesn't take long to warm up, that's for sure.

Q. What did you do coming out of halftime to keep the momentum and pick up the defense?
HEAD COACH STEVE KERR: Well, I didn't think we were nearly as good tonight defensively as we were in Game 1, and we talked about it at halftime, about picking it up. We knew New Orleans was going to come at us.

Game 2, this is very predictable after a blowout in Game 1. You know the other team is coming at you. I've seen it a million times, and the way New Orleans comes at you is in transition. They had 20 fastbreak points in the first half, so we were not ready for their force, and that's what we talked about at halftime.

Q. You always said Draymond, you want him on the edge and he's best when he's on the edge. When you saw him early yelling at Mirotic's face and going at it with Rondo, do you like to see that? Did it tell you where his mind was?
HEAD COACH STEVE KERR: I do like to see it as long as there's no technical involved. But you know, I thought those two threes he hit to start the fourth quarter were probably the two biggest shots of the game because we were kind of struggling and the ball found its way it Draymond, so those were big shots that gave us a bit of a lead.

Draymond has been phenomenal throughout the playoffs. He's been saving himself for the playoffs. It's a long regular season, especially after three straight trips to the Finals, and you can tell the difference in the intensity from a lot of our guys, but Draymond in particular.

Q. How would you assess this game? I think it was a little bit more physical than normally with bodies flying around.
HEAD COACH STEVE KERR: That's exactly what I expected. You know, they have a hell of a team and you know, Anthony Davis said after Game 1, they were embarrassed, so we knew they were going to come after us. So very physical game. Very competitive game. We played well enough to win but we're going to have to play better in New Orleans.

Q. After Game 1, you said that was as loud as you heard Oracle all year. How would you describe the atmosphere tonight and in particular, when Steph came in for the first time?
HEAD COACH STEVE KERR: Yeah, it was loud, it was great. So fun to play here, especially in the playoffs. That was a special moment when Steph checked into the game.

Yes, always fun to hear our home crowd, and Steph has worked really hard over the last six weeks to prepare for this. I love the ovation that he got.

Q. Klay obviously very rarely has off-shooting nights. What is it about him and his confidence that prevents sort of these off-nights from ever being ruts? They seem to be anomalies?
HEAD COACH STEVE KERR: He's a lot like Steph. He's just going to keep firing, even if you're up ten, 1:30 left and 20 seconds on the shot clock -- sorry, I couldn't resist that little jab.

No, tough night for Klay. Ball didn't go in. But you know, I love his aggression, and we need him firing away like he did, and those shots will go in in New Orleans.

Q. What got KD going?
HEAD COACH STEVE KERR: Just his talent. His aggressiveness. Yeah, it was -- at one point, I think he was like 6-for-17, when I looked at the stats sheet in the fourth quarter and he went 5 for his last 6 but my count, so we kept going to him.

Obviously, you know, he hit the big ones down the stretch, and then he found Steph for that three that looked like it sealed it, put us up 13 with 1:40 left I think.

Kevin was great. You know, our guys really battled. We didn't play very intelligently obviously down the stretch, but you know, they got into the fight and took control of the game.

Q. Knowing that the Pelicans were going to come out playing hard after that first game, what kind of emotional boost do you think Steph's return gave to the rest of the guys?
HEAD COACH STEVE KERR: Well, it was a good night for it to happen. I mean, it's going to be an emotional boost any time Steph steps on the floor after an absence, but this was a good night for it. Given that we won Game 1 comfortably, and we had a feeling, you know, New Orleans was going to come after us pretty hard.

So perfect timing. He came in, slow first quarter for us and everything changed as soon as he walked on to the floor.

Q. About that slow first quarter, how much discipline did it take to keep him out until the 4:20 mark? Did you know you were putting him in there or how hard were you rethinking it when you see the lead and that kind of energy to start?
HEAD COACH STEVE KERR: No, it's so early in the game, and I liked the idea of bringing him in for Klay, you know, when Klay comes out around the 4:00 mark, and that just set up the rest of the game for him.

Like I said we kind of knew we were going to play him about 24 minutes. We played him 27 but that allowed us to give him an eight-minute stretch between -- you know, kind of bordering the first and second quarters. We knew he would get that break at the quarter to kind of two four-minute runs and bring him back to end the half.

So it all kind of panned out as we expected and like I said, it was so early in the game, I wasn't really tempted to bring him in earlier.

Q. You talked about Draymond sort of raising his game in the playoffs. In rebounding in particular, he's been very productive. At his size, giving up the size he gives to Davis and other guys, what allows him? Is that positioning? Is that determination? How is he able to compensate for that size disadvantage?
HEAD COACH STEVE KERR: Everything. Competitive desire. Incredibly long arms. So even though he's about -- I think he's about 6-5, honestly, because when I talk to him, he doesn't look that much taller than me, but really, really long arms. Very strong legs. So establishes position down there.

And he's incredibly smart. He's one of the smartest defenders I've ever been around. He kind of beats people to the spot and uses his strength and then his length comes into play and he yells and screams and intimidates and all of the above, so he does it all.

Q. What was going through your mind when you put Steph in at the 4:20 mark, first catch, and it's going up. 11 seconds into the game and launching already and he hits it.
HEAD COACH STEVE KERR: It was funny, we call a play we like to run just to get some movement, just to get the ball moving, and the ball swung to him and he just launched. Didn't surprise me. That's who he is. That was a fun moment.

Q. AD, seems once it gets in the paint, with your match-ups, is almost unstoppable. Obviously you stopped him but what can you do about him? He shoots so well for a big guy.
HEAD COACH STEVE KERR: Yeah, I mean, he's a load. He's one of the best players on earth, and so again, you try to take away his easy ones. If we can keep him from getting put-back dunks and rim-runs and easy shots and just make him work, that's about all we can do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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