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May 21, 2018

James Harden

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. What is it going to take to come out with the kind of force that you guys need to get going and play your brand of basketball?
JAMES HARDEN: Nothing, just go out there and do it. It's pretty simple. Not try to overcomplicate things. Just go out there and do what we do. Obviously, do the opposite of what we did last game, but it's not hard at all.

Q. You guys showed in Game 2 what you needed. Coming off that Game 1 loss, you guys made adjustments.
JAMES HARDEN: We didn't really make adjustments though.

Q. Well, you went back to your game.
JAMES HARDEN: Played our [butts] off, yeah, that's all we did. That's what you have to do, especially at this stage and this point of the season.

Q. Same approach going in tomorrow though? Just knowing what went wrong last night?
JAMES HARDEN: Yeah, yeah, for sure. We pretty much know. We started the game off pretty solid, and just got to end the quarters better. I think they went up nine. It was 22-22, and then at the end of the quarter up nine. It's harder to come back from, especially from a good team, on the road.

So we've got to make sure we're doing the right things. Not turning the basketball over. Not giving them baskets in transition, that's what they live off of.

Q. In a series like this, you're going to win some and lose some against a team like that. Is that encouraging, worrisome, or something in between that you guys haven't had -- you haven't been at your best yet in this series?
JAMES HARDEN: Yeah, we looked pretty good Game 2. Game 2 we were at our best right there. We held them to barely a hundred points or a little over a hundred points and we did our thing.

Q. Is that what it takes?
JAMES HARDEN: That's what it takes, and we're more than capable of it, and we will show it in Game 4.

Q. What are the keys to replicating what happened in Game 2 here?
JAMES HARDEN: Making sure we get really good shots and not turning the basketball over, like I said. I think in that first half we gave them almost 30 points just in transition and free throws, putting them in penalty early. So it goes back to defensively we've got to do a really good job of playing without fouling, and then taking good shots.

Q. When Coach [Mike D'Antoni] said you all played soft, did that really hit home with you?
JAMES HARDEN: Yeah, whatever you want to call it. We didn't play aggressive. We played soft. It's all the same thing.

Q. He said he felt like you guys were playing late shot clock too much.

Q. How do you balance trying to dictate matchups?
JAMES HARDEN: It's cool every once in a while, but it's about getting stops. If we don't get stops, no matter what happens, it's going to be tough for both teams. So they got more stops in this last game. They were able to get out in transition, get open layups and threes and things like that, and they put the pressure on us. So it's whoever can get the most stops, they have a chance.

Q. Mike said he feels like the pressure is on Golden State and not you guys. He feels like the Rockets should have a swagger going into tomorrow?
JAMES HARDEN: We should always have a swagger. But even more importantly, tomorrow. They've got to try to take a 3-1 lead going on the road. Tie this thing up going back to our crib.

Q. Is the team confidence at the same level it's been always season?
JAMES HARDEN: Always, always. Never changes. We might get whooped by 40, might lose by two, might win by 20, but our same swagger, our same confidence is always there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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