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May 13, 2018

Klay Thompson

Houston, Texas: Practice Day

Q. You and James Harden go back a long, long way. What are your early memories of going against him, even back in high school through college and into the NBA?
KLAY THOMPSON: Well, I was 0-1 against him in high school. We got beat by 30. I think they went on to win State that year. They had a great team with James and Malik Story. That was a lot of fun. Then in college, I played against him twice. I think we won on a buzzer beater one game. Then obviously throughout my NBA career we've been battling postseason, regular season, played together on Team USA. It's been a cool run. Once again we're here, and [make] the most of it.

Q. What's it like to face him on this kind of stage at this stage of your year?
KLAY THOMPSON: Oh, it's great. It's really a dream come true to be playing in the fourth Western Conference Finals and the second against James. It's pretty incredible. He has developed into an MVP-caliber player. Myself, an All-Star. That just shows we put in a lot of work to get here. We were both touted coming out of high school, but it wasn't like we were seen to be at this level. So we're going to make the most of it.

Q. When it comes to defending another player, is he as challenging to you as anyone in the league?
KLAY THOMPSON: Yes, because he's just great at all three levels and he's an amazing playmaker. So not only can he score, but he's a playmaker.

Q. Steve Kerr said the other day you guys are at your best when you're threatened, and you're threatened here. How do you view that?
KLAY THOMPSON: I think Steve's correct. We're so talented that at times we can be aloof. That's not good in the playoffs. You don't want to give away possessions or games in any playoff series. We're in an unfamiliar position starting off on the road. It's a new challenge for us.

Like Steve said, when you feel threatened, you have the appropriate fear. And that's when we play our best.

Q. You guys are peaking right now. During the regular season when guys were disengaged at moments and it felt like a marathon, did you ever fear that the team wouldn't be able to get to where they are right now?
KLAY THOMPSON: No, I didn't. And we're not where we [want to be], to be honest. We won't be there until we win eight more games. We still have a long way to go. It starts with tomorrow night. We're not where we want to be yet.

Q. With all they have going on with Chris Paul and James Harden, what do you guys think of Capela as a threat?
KLAY THOMPSON: He's had a great year. When they traded away Dwight [Howard], you thought they would be missing something in the paint, but he stepped right in there and has done a great job. His job looks simple, but it's harder than you think. He's going to be another key factor for us to slow down because he gets them going when he's playing above the rim.

Q. Do they have what you would typically consider a Big Three?
KLAY THOMPSON: Capela could be one of them, I guess. But they a monstrous two and a lot of great players around them. Eric Gordon is also great off the bench. They've got a lot of great players. But they have two guys who do most of the heavy lifting as far as ball handling and facilitating. Other guys know their roles and they do them very well.

Q. What do you think the time between series has done for you guys?
KLAY THOMPSON: We're refreshed, but we're eager to get playing. I feel I've answered every question there is in the book in the last five days. We're just ready to get out here and compete and showcase our talents to a national audience.

Q. Has there been a challenge that you have faced in the playoffs over the last four years that compares to the one you're about to face against this team?
KLAY THOMPSON: Definitely. I mean, plenty of series where we went down 2-1, 3-1. Memphis, in our first playoff championship run, they had our number for two games, three games, whatever it was. So we had to make a lot of adjustments on the fly. Then, obviously when we played OKC, we were down 3-1. Cavs, we were down 2-1; up 3-1, that was very challenging -- they came back and won, obviously. It hasn't just been a smooth ride for four years. We've had plenty of adversity. So this is another challenge for us that we're up to.

Q. Chris Paul's mid-range game mixed in with what they do from three, how dangerous does that make them when you look at all they have in that way?
KLAY THOMPSON: He's been a great shooter his whole career. People forget about that because he's so good at everything else. Just don't want to let them get going from three. We'll take twos; we'll take contested twos. But that's easier said than done because they shoot so many [threes]. You want to win that three-point battle. I think that's going to be very indicative about who is going to come out [on top] in the series.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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