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May 20, 2018

Stephen Curry

Oakland, California: Game Three

Warriors - 126, Rockets - 85

Q. The Rockets were able to score over 116.5 points for the first two games, and this game you were able to limit them to 85. Was the defense changed strategically or you guys just played harder?
STEPHEN CURRY: I think we played smarter and harder than Game 2. Game 1 we were pretty solid. James [Harden] got off a little bit, made a lot of tough shots. He had 40, obviously. Game 2 we were just a step slow mentally and physically, allowing paint touches and drive and kicks and all that. They got their three-point game going. Tonight played a lot better one-on-one defense. We were able to play contained and not have to rotate as much, and that helped us kind of get a lot of momentum.

From there, it fueled our offense and got our crowd into it. That's kind of exactly how we drew it up.

Q. What clicked for you in the third quarter, and how important was it to drive to the basket and get some layups and kind of take what the defense was giving you to help the three-point shot finally go in? Also, just the explosion emotionally? You were yelling seemingly at everybody when you got that one to go in. How much of a release was it to finally see that first one go in in that third quarter?
STEPHEN CURRY: I mean, it was big. It was frustrating more so because I had the right intentions in the first half and got -- I think I got five like wide-open threes that only one of them went in. So I always say you never lose confidence. I knew keep searching in the right ways to find some openings and some things that work obviously. Got the first play of the third quarter and got to the free throw line, an and-one, saw the ball go in. And from there I was just in the right place at the right time, made a lot of shots.

I think our offense was really flowing when it comes to hitting singles, as Coach [Steve Kerr] would always say, taking care of the ball and looking for good shots in every possession. From there it was kind of an avalanche, and it felt good.

Q. You reminded everybody in the third quarter -- and I'm paraphrasing that --
STEPHEN CURRY: I already know. I blacked out. I blacked out.

Q. Do you feel like that was just your emotions were boiling over based off of the narrative that's been circling around you over the last few days?
STEPHEN CURRY: A lot of it was just talking to myself almost like you've got to be your biggest fan sometimes. No matter what questions I was being asked over the first two games or what the expectations was, I had the highest expectations for myself. And you've just got to -- find whatever you want to get going. I mean obviously it felt good and you want to use that energy to show your teammates that you're here, you're with them, get the crowd into it. But it's one game, and you've got to have that same type of energy and intentions and focus the next game and the right approach. So I did my job tonight. I've got to do it again.

Q. How do you decide whether to shake your backside afterward or go down on your back and do a snow angel? Is it all spontaneous? Also, Draymond [Green] just said that your three brings the house down the way some guy's dunks do in other buildings. Do you sense that?
STEPHEN CURRY: There are big momentum swings when you can -- obviously the anticipation. You come in transition or you find an open look, there is a collective hush in the crowd, especially in this building, and it's a cool moment. So I was searching for it in the first half. Like I said, I had plenty of opportunities, just couldn't knock them down. In the third quarter, it opened up.

So I've been doing it for a while, and I won't let two tough games shooting keep me frustrated and just keep shooting and let it kind of take care of itself in that sense.

Q. Is there something that you've seen that makes you feel like you're showing more aggressiveness going to the basket? Also, what was the key to your play defensively tonight?
STEPHEN CURRY: I mean, when you think about the way that they played defense, they do a lot of switching. They try to press up on the three-point line and take away any daylight. When you have that much space it's a little easier to get into the paint, finish at the rim, or try to probe and kick out to the weak side. That's how I got my first three in the first half was kind of probing. Bringing it to the ball, getting up and relocating out.

You can't press. The three's not there, that's fine. There's plenty of other things I can do on the court to help get the offense going. Obviously, I like to shoot threes and I'm going to keep shooting them, but you've got to be smart about how you orchestrate the offense and orchestrate those type of possessions.

Defensively, we were just solid. Like I said, one-on-one defense, great scorers on other the of the ball. Whether you play good defense or not, they can still get a bucket. We can't have breakdowns when it comes to having two on the ball. Getting the right blow by where there's no help, all that type of stuff. Just taking those challenges on, and over the course of the series you've got to man up and try to get as many stops as you can.

Q. We're all going to probably make a big deal about your little swear jar moment and that, but how much does that compare to what Draymond talks about every single day when he's quarterbacking that defense? How important is his intensity as a quarterback to the defense to what you guys do on that side of the ball?
STEPHEN CURRY: It's huge because I think when you talk and you have a guy whose eyes are surveying the floor, knowing where our advantages are, it's always a confidence builder. When you're guarding the ball, it might seem like you're on an island. But if you hear somebody's voice behind you, like I'm here, I'm there, send them left, send them right, whatever the case is, you've got to be ready for that possession a little bit more. Then when you hear silence, it's like I don't know what to do.

Obviously you have to have confidence on the ball to defend, but it's not just a one-on-one type of situation. It's all five guys got to be ready and you have to have a guy like Draymond who is in this series and in the position that he's sitting in in the paint or whatever, knowing where to send help. He was everywhere today, and that will continue.

Q. You go to Houston, get the first game. Then you come back and win in this fashion by 41. Does winning in this fashion change the complexion of the series in any way?
STEPHEN CURRY: No, it's 0-0 come Game 4. I wish it was a cumulative score. It doesn't work that way. Yeah, just like golf, it doesn't work that way, 0-0. We feel like we're in a good place mentally. Not just that we're focused a lot, but when that turns into executing on both ends of the floor, we can get to our type of basketball early in the game and often and play a complete 48-minute game, but it doesn't matter. 0-0 come Tuesday, and we've got to be ready.

Q. You sort of just touched on it, but how does the team guard against complacency in Game 4, so you're sure to come out with that same kind of intensity later in the game?
STEPHEN CURRY: I think I said it on the court after the game. Coach will come in and play the Game 2 film and says don't do what you're doing right now, and that should be a good motivator. But a lot of people say that, and our guys will say there is no other motivation than you need to wake up on Tuesday and know you're playing Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against a great team with great players on that side of the court.

So this is kind of what you work for all year to be in these type of moments to be in this position. Win, lose or draw, you have to be excited about this opportunity to play high level basketball in front of the world. So it's fun. You've got to be ready.

Q. What is Steph Curry's world like when those shots are not dropping? Do you after the game go out when you normally take 1,000 shots and take 2,000 shots? What's your routine?
STEPHEN CURRY: My routine stays the same pretty much. I mean, whether I shoot 12-for-14 from the three over 1-for-8, and I come in the next day with the same mentality to try to get better. Don't overthink it, really. I've put in so much work and blessed with this talent to shoot the ball. For years I've got to rely on that and not try to get in your feelings or feel like the world's crashing down on you because you're not making shots. Like wake up, eat breakfast, lift weights, go out, have practice, get your shots up. Just have confidence in yourself that you can figure it out. That's the story of the ups and downs of an NBA-type environment, game in, game out, you can't get too low, can't get too high.

Q. Draymond talked about how your mental toughness is one of the signature things about who you are. How much do you need and rely on mental toughness in situations like tonight when you haven't shot the ball well for two games and everyone's talking about it? Secondly, how much did you enjoy kind of doing to James Harden what he's been doing to you for so much of the series, putting you in isolation, and you putting him on an island tonight?
STEPHEN CURRY: The first question, that is what makes, I think, a great player and person in general. Just being able to deal with failure, frustration, whatever it is, not living up to your own expectations. Not letting yourself get defeated. There are plenty of opportunities to do that when there are 800 cameras in your face, and questions about why are you not shooting this, why did you play so bad in Game 2, whatever it is. You've got to block that out and really be your own worst critic and your own biggest fan, like I said.

It's hard to do at times, because everybody's human. But consistently that's gotten me through some tough times and really keeps my perspective right when games go well too, because it can change quick.

But just be aggressive in those situations, because I find myself in those type of isolation situations a lot with how they guard, so you can make plays and be ready for those type of one-on-one situations.

Q. Kerr has almost never staggered you and Durant from maybe a little in the beginning, and he staggered you very clearly in this game. Are you okay with that? Usually you play the whole first and third quarters, how did it feel like to play with that second unit in the second and fourth quarters?
STEPHEN CURRY: We switched it up a little bit for sure. The biggest thing is just staying locked in on the bench for however long it is. Just stay aware of what's going on, keep your mind right so when you get back in there you can get back to doing what you're doing. After that third quarter, I fought it a little bit, like I want to stay out here. But the rotation worked in the first half, so we wanted to stick with it.

So it could change in Game 4, who knows. But just be ready for whenever your minutes or whenever your number is called and be ready to play.

Q. On the shot that you hit the 30-footer, you had been cold. What is it about that shot that makes you comfortable taking it after you've been cold from pull-up 30 feet? What did you see, describe that play?
STEPHEN CURRY: I work on it all the time, and I made it before. I had amnesia, really. In that moment, in my head am I 0-for-0, or am I 10-for-10 in my head? I'm feeling good in that moment. Just shoot it. You can't second-guess your first instinct in that moment. So it's obviously good to see it go down, and we got little boost from that possession, and able turn it into a big win tonight.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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