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May 20, 2018

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California: Game Three

Warriors - 126, Rockets - 85

Q. Now that Steph has gone off, can you admit to feeling nervous at all in the first half there when he was missing a bunch of shots?
STEVE KERR: Not really, honestly. We've seen this so many times with Steph. All it takes is one. I thought he was pressing a little bit early, but I was never concerned. This guy's a two-time MVP, and he bounces back from bad games as well as anybody I've ever seen, so didn't surprise me.

Q. What do you think helped open the game up in the third quarter?
STEVE KERR: Excuse me?

Q. What do you think helped open up the game in the third quarter?
STEVE KERR: Tonight was just all about defense and taking care of the ball. That's it. When we defend like that and we take care of it, then we're not giving anything easy and we're making them earn every point, that's what this is all about. If we can defend at that level and protect the ball, we're generally going to be in good shape.

Q. There was a stretch in the first quarter where Kevon Looney he blocked [Luc] Mbah a Moute on one possession, and played great defense on Eric Gordon on the next possession. It kind of made a free fall on that run. What has he been for you guys in this series, and what's he been for you guys all season?
STEVE KERR: Well, Looney's a good matchup because of the isos and one on one play, you need bigs that can switch out and cover Chris [Paul] and James [Harden]. They're so tough to handle and Looney's really good at that. So he's gotten better and better all season. We're thrilled with how he's played, thrilled with how Nick Young has played. That's what this series is, how well can we defend without fouling? They make it hard on you with their shooting and one on one play.

We've had a lot of guys step up and play good defense, and I thought Loon was good to tonight.

Q. You talked so much about force going into this game. What is Andre Iguodala's roll when it comes to force? It looked like he came up a little bit with something tweaked in his leg in the fourth quarter is everything okay there?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, I think he's okay there. He got banged on the knee. I think it was like a knee-on-knee type of thing. He said he would be all right. But when we're right, when we're playing how we are supposed to play, Andre's right in the middle of it. His defense and being smart, making good decisions. Andre is one of the guys who seems to set the tone for that for us, and I thought he did a great job of that tonight.

Q. Rockets were taking it right to Steph from the start. And before his shot was falling he was driving to the basket pretty well. I know everyone wants to talk about his shot, but on a night like tonight, how important is his toughness?
STEVE KERR: Well, Steph is underrated for the toughness factor. But you don't become a two-time MVP just by shooting a bunch of threes. He's got unbelievable stamina and physical toughness, mental toughness for four days. Everybody's been talking about him and what he did tonight didn't surprise any of us because that's just who he is. He's got unbelievable character, great talent and it always rises when it needs to.

Q. Looked like maybe you were trying a little bit different defensive strategy to play the pick-and-roll early. And you maybe scrapped it after a few possessions. Is that what happened? Were you looking to hedge a little more in the pick-and-roll or did you go play it straight up after that?
STEVE KERR: No, we actually didn't change anything to start the game, but they hurt us a couple of times. [Clint] Capela got a couple lobs. We took a timeout just to clarify what our defensive strategy was, but we didn't really make a lot of changes. We tweaked a few things here and there, but for the most part we're playing the same way, they're playing the same way. We played a lot better obviously tonight.

Q. The way you guys were able to defend and then get out in transition, how did that work, exactly how guys were hoping to get that game?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, that's always the key for us when we defend, then we can get out and run. Houston's a very good defensive team. They have made it tough on us. They're doing a lot of good things, but if we can get stops, we know we can get out in transition and get much better shots. So that's the whole key is getting stops, not fouling, not reaching, not letting the game stop and let them get to the foul line and keep things going and keep the pressure on you.

Q. What was the key to Steph's improvement defensively this game, and what do you think he learned from the previous game defensively?
STEVE KERR: I just think that we were so much better as a team defensively tonight that it may have shown up that Steph played better, but it was really everybody. When the whole team plays well defensively, each individual is going to look like he played better too.

Steph's been battling this whole series with all these guys coming off and trying to take him off the dribble. It's a lot of work, but he's standing up really well.

Q. Obviously 17 rebounds speaks for itself, but what else did you see from Draymond [Green] particularly on the defensive end tonight, because it looked like he was in the middle of lots of things?
STEVE KERR: Oh, my gosh, Draymond, there is nobody like him, honestly. I don't know another player who is like Draymond in this league. His ability to impact the game in so many ways, defensively, getting out on Harden and Paul and switching, and rebounding, and staying on Capela's legs, and trying to knock the ball away on the lobs and protect the rim without fouling. Draymond is just a tremendous defender. I thought his performance tonight was unreal.

Q. The Warriors did it tonight. They eclipsed the Bulls record at home, 16 straight consecutive wins. Could you comment on a feat like that?
STEVE KERR: We're in the middle of a hell of a run basically. We've got great players who are committed. They take a lot of pride in protecting our home floor. So I'm really proud of them. I'm proud of what they've been able to accomplish the last few years. Make no mistake about it, Game 4 will be incredibly difficult. We know what's coming, so we're not paying attention to any of that stuff.

You can ask Raymond [Ridder] for all the stats and all the records and everything else, but we've got to be ready for the force that's coming from them in Game 4.

Q. I was going to ask you about Game 4. Coaches don't like to say this is a must-win or this game is bigger. You certainly don't want to go back there even. Holding a 3-1 lead gives you a great advantage. How big is Game 4?
STEVE KERR: It's a huge game. It's kind of the swing game of the series. We're right where we want to be, but we're not naive enough to think that what happened tonight is an indication of what will happen in a couple of days. So we've got to be prepared and ready for everything they're bringing and see what we can do.

Q. You said earlier this week that Steph Curry and Oracle Arena is such a good combination. Why do you think that is? What does it do to the rest of the guys on the court when he kind of starts to go and the crowd comes along the way it does?
STEVE KERR: I think most teams play better at home. I think that's documented. But with our team the way we play and what we rely on with Steph, he seems to feed off the energy of the crowd. I thought you saw that tonight. Everybody was trying to will him early to making one of those threes. He was missing. Then once the dam broke in the third quarter, fans are just so happy when Steph scores. There is just this synergy between the fans and Steph. It's fun to be a part of and fun to experience.

Q. I saw that Jordan Bell got a little bit of early minutes. Was that because of maybe David West struggles offensively in this series?
STEVE KERR: No, honestly, I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to play in the back-up five role. We went into the game thinking we're going to see how the game goes and adapt from there. When Looney got in foul trouble, I just wanted to stay with our more mobile defenders on the perimeter. So I went to Jordan instead of David. But that doesn't mean David's out of the loop by any means. We're going to still need him in this series. If we're fortunate enough to move on, we'll need him in the next one.

Q. Seemed like Shaun Livingston was essential to the win tonight. Can you address his role, what he did?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, I thought Shaun was great. He was very aggressive. I think he got nine shots up, if I'm not mistaken. We need his offense. It's a small game, obviously, when you play Houston, the floor is spread. Shaun's not a three-point shooter, but he's a great driver, great mid-range shooter, great post up guy. I thought his play at both ends was very important.

Q. How important has Steph's ability to get to the rim and willingness to go to the rim a lot helped him through these shooting struggles before the third?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, I think he's consistently gotten to the rim in the first three games of this series, and scored. So that's why I didn't think there's anything physically going on with him.

He's looked great the last couple games getting past his man and finishing at the rim. He did that again tonight. The difference was he got the three-point shot going too.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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