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May 16, 2018

Trevor Ariza

Eric Gordon

Chris Paul

Houston, Texas: Game Two

Rockets- 127, Warriors - 105

Q. You always talked about how this team feeds off of you defensively. And the difference for Monday was you guys didn't communicate. We saw more of that tonight. Can you talk about that and the intensity you guys were able to maintain for the entire game?
TREVOR ARIZA: I think from the start we were more aggressive instead of allowing them to attack us first and us react. I think we reacted first and brought the fight to them rather than them hitting us first.

Q. Chris, it had been a while before you played them in Game 1. But the way they play, does it take some time to get used to defending them?
CHRIS PAUL: No, surprisingly we didn't change anything. We guarded the same way. I mean, obviously we played harder, but scheme-wise we didn't change anything. We just did everything a little harder, as we talked about yesterday and we talked about Game 1. Got out to the shooters. Our switches were a lot cleaner.

Game 1, Klay [Thompson] got off 15 threes. He only got off four tonight. So that's a little better.

Q. Eric, how difficult do you think it is for teams to deal with you all when so many players are contributing on offense the way you all did tonight?
ERIC GORDON: Tonight everything was fueled off our defense. We hit the open man at the right time and guys were knocking down shots. When we play that way it becomes just a fun game, and that's why we had a good result tonight.

Q. For all three of you, it felt like the dribble-drives and attacks in isolation came earlier in the shot clock today. Did that create more opportunities for driving kicks? How did that get you guys kind of going getting open looks on the wings?
CHRIS PAUL: We just played at a better pace. A lot of that helped, too, that we got stops. We defended better. We got out in transition. We still played our isos and stuff when we had them, and we just played with a little bit more thrust.

Q. You all haven't lost a back-to-back since January. Is there anything particular you all say to one another following a loss, or that you said over the past five months, basically?
CHRIS PAUL: I wouldn't have known that unless you told me. But, T.A., you go.

TREVOR ARIZA: That's not something that we talk about. We just, we come in the next day. We go through our normal routines. We see where we can improve. We just all stick together and try to correct the things that we didn't do as well the game before.

Q. You said yesterday that you're great in transition, but that's all set up by the defense. How much different did the defense feel tonight? Especially it seemed like the entire team was kind of playing on a string, and there was maybe a little more sacrifice, a little more selflessness on the defensive end as a whole is this?
CHRIS PAUL: I just said it was cleaner. You know what I mean? Game 1, there was a lot of miscommunication. I mean, it was plays in that game that I think we just cleaned it up a little bit tonight. They might make adjustments. They might just feel like they didn't make shots. I don't know. But we just did everything a little better this game than we did last game. But it was the same schemes, and we pushed it. We just tried to push it, play a little faster.

Q. How much of these last 48 hours have you guys been sort of living with the thought or thinking about and talking about you had a lot better game in you than what you showed in Game 1? That you had much more to put into this series?
CHRIS PAUL: I don't know. I think we didn't overreact. I think that's the best feeling about our team. After Game 1, T.A. and I talked on the phone for a while; everybody talked. We communicate. Just try to see if we could come out and play better tonight.

Q. Eric, you were 6-of-9 from three. Was it just a fact of make or miss? Were you shooting more in rhythm? Were you being more aggressive? What would you attribute your success to tonight?
ERIC GORDON: I always want to be aggressive. But like I said, everything was fueled off our defense, and we had the open man at the right time. It just wasn't me that got going. You saw Trevor really got going, and P.J. [Tucker]. Trev and P.J. really fueled us and made it easier for everybody.

Q. You were a finalist, again, for Sixth Man of the Year. You're the reigning Sixth Man winner. What do you think about that?
ERIC GORDON: It's great. It's always good to be on a good team like this where it just makes my job easier. It's been a blast since I've been here.

Q. Early in the fourth you hit that deep three, then you guys went on that incredible run. Was it a matter of smelling blood in the water at that point?
ERIC GORDON: Yeah, for sure. I did hit a tough shot, but it's going to take a lot of tough shots and good defensive plays to win the game. So it's a good team effort throughout the whole night.

Q. Chris and Trevor, same thing. Did you say here's a chance to throw the knockout punch right here?
CHRIS PAUL: Yeah, guys made a lot of big shots. Tuck, 5-for-6 from the three. E.G. and Trevor attacking. We just tried to play, like we said, with the thrust. It's going to take that to continue to win games.

Q. For all practical reasons, did you almost feel like your season was on the line tonight? Do you feel like you can't relax even for a minute against this team?
CHRIS PAUL: I don't know. Isn't that what they always say in this series? I'm serious, man. You lose Game 1, and everybody says it's a must win.

Q. Chris, you've known P.J. Tucker for most of your entire life. The chemistry between you guys tonight was really something to watch. What's it mean to you to set him up for plays like that that are in his Wheelhouse and see him succeed?
CHRIS PAUL: There is a trust factor with all of us there. If you don't see someone working on something, and you pass it to them and they do something crazy, you go, What are you doing? But Tuck practices that, so he's prepared for it. So make or miss, we trust him. He did his thing tonight.

Q. Trevor, unlike a lot of the guys on this team, you've actually been to The Finals. When you see what Chris's trajectory has been, this is his first Conference Finals. Watching him tonight, how much did he want it? How much does he want to get over that hump?
TREVOR ARIZA: Well, obviously he wants to win. At this point, everybody is playing to win. Nobody's playing to fail. But I think most importantly we're doing it together. I think everybody's on the same page. Everybody understands that right now there is nothing pretty about trying to win. However you can win, you have to do it. So if it's clean, it's cool. But if it's dirty, you've got to get dirty.

The main thing about us tonight is that we're going to fight. We're going to continue to fight. We're going to continue to play hard, and that's it.

Q. How does it feel after these first two games to have this home crowd behind you to get that first win at home and to know that you have that advantage, if there is a Game 7?
CHRIS PAUL: It's great. It's great. Our fans were amazing tonight, and we're going to continue to need them. We ended up 1-1 in our last series? So we always talk about the next game.

So for us right now, the most important game is Game 3. We know that's a tough environment to play in there. But we are who we are, and we'll be ready.

Q. Trevor, after your early foul trouble in the first game, how satisfying and fulfilling was it to play the kind of first half that you did tonight?
TREVOR ARIZA: I was excited to be on the court tonight. I forgot all about Game 1. I focused all my thoughts into Game 2 and what I can do to help our team. Just me going out, being aggressive, trying to play aggressive defensively. That's what my team needs me to do. So that's what I try to do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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