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May 24, 2018

Steve Kerr

Houston, Texas: Game Five

Rockets - 98, Warriors - 94

Q. It seemed like you guys weren't getting the kind of movement in late-game offense. What did you see and how much did the turnovers kind of bog you guys down?
STEVE KERR: I disagree with you. I thought we got much better movement tonight. And we had some things that worked for us. The turnovers were killers, 18 of them. A lot of them unforced. But the movement was much better. The offense was much better.

Q. You went to K.D. a lot in the post on the mismatch. Is there a price for that? It looks like Houston is face guarding and the shooters aren't getting open. Do you feel like you're --
STEVE KERR: Is there a price for throwing the ball to Kevin Durant in the block?

Q. Yeah. Are you sacrificing by going with that?
STEVE KERR: No, it's a good option to throw the ball to Kevin Durant on the post. It's a really good option.

Q. On the last play when Steph hit it to Draymond, was that by design? What was the play there?
STEVE KERR: Well, it was a tough break for us, because we got the rebound off the missed free throw. It's one of those plays where if you get the immediate timeout, you get to advance it. The ball kind of squirted loose. I was calling timeout. Sometimes they'll give it to you, but Draymond, because he fumbled it, it bounced, they said he took a dribble. That's kind of a judgment call.

So now we've got to go full court with six seconds left. We knew they had a foul to give, so we wanted Steph to push it, and we were anticipating that they were going to foul Steph. But he made the right play. He threw it ahead to Draymond. I think Draymond saw an open lane to the basket, but he knew the time was winding down a little bit.

I think Draymond probably thought he could get to the rim and dunk it. I'll have to see the replay. I think Klay may have been in the far right corner, so we had the floor spread. I thought -- without having seen it yet, I thought Draymond just rushed it a little bit and fumbled it. But the play was unfolding nicely. It just didn't turn out, obviously.

Q. Chris Paul scored 18 of his 20 in the second half, and it seemed like he was successfully drawing your bigs to him for the isolations. How challenging was that for you with the personnel that you had? What did you think of how he was able to get those?
STEVE KERR: Well, Chris is a Hall of Fame player, and, look, this is what they do. They put James and Chris in pick-and-roll every single time. So they're going to challenge you. We did a great job. They combine to shoot 11-for-40. He hit two fadeaway 35-foot threes that were just unbelievable. You've got to live with that.

What we can't live with is reaching and jumping on Eric Gordon's pump fakes. Gordon shot 10 free throws tonight, two of them on three-point -- or six of them on three-point shots. We reached on James. James shot nine free throws. We've got to be a little more disciplined.

I feel great about where we are right now. That may sound crazy, but I feel it. I know exactly what I'm seeing out there, and we defended them beautifully tonight. We got everything we needed. Just too many turnovers, too many reaches, and if we settle down a little bit, we're going to be in really good shape.

Q. That's a few games now where the Rockets seem to have asserted their pace on the game?
STEVE KERR: A certain what?

Q. Asserted their pace on the game. Is that just something you have to live with and beat them at their pace, or can you find ways to get it up?
STEVE KERR: I think I said it, but I liked the overall flow of the game much better tonight. It felt much better than it did in Game 4. But we got rushed in transition. We had several turnovers where we just kind of got a little too excited and threw the ball away.

Ideally we take care of the ball. I always tell our guys hit singles. We were trying to hit triples. You got to hit singles. If we do that in transition, we're going to get some more good looks.

I thought we had some great looks that we didn't knock down tonight that will go in Game 6. I like our defense. I like our effort. I like our competitive desire. Just got to be a little wiser with the reaching and taking care of the ball. When we do that, we're going to be in great shape.

Q. The telecast captured part of your message to Kevin about trusting his teammates. How did you see that play out throughout the game?
STEVE KERR: I just thought he got into a little bit of a rush, like we all did. Maybe it was the third quarter where he was attacking, which I liked, but he was trying some difficult passes. I think I was just telling him, hey, let's move the ball on to the first open guy and keep playing, and we're going to get good stuff.

Kevin -- the guy is just such an amazing talent. He does so much for us. You've got to go to him on the block. You've got to put the ball in his hands. I'm sure he has a couple shots he'd like to have back.

But he was -- he kept us in it. Ten free throws. I loved how he attacked. He attacked right away. Got into the paint. Did a lot of good things. But I feel like we keep playing like this with a little more discipline, things are going to turn for us.

Q. Looking at Game 6, given how hurt it looked like Chris Paul might have been in the end there, and he might miss the next game or he might have to overcome some kind of injury, how much an advantage is that to you? And I hope it's not 13.7 percent.
STEVE KERR: Well, look, we're just going to go out and play. We don't know who is healthy, who is injured. We've been without Andre the last couple games, and we've adapted. It's part of the playoffs. You just play, and whatever happens, happens.

So I have no idea. Maybe I can answer that question better if there's some declaration as to who is in and who is out.

Q. I don't know if you've had a chance to talk to the team all that much yet, but this is probably the worst situation you've been in since Kevin's been on the team, in terms of these guys' desperation, backs up against the wall. Do you have a sense of how they're taking this so far, or how they respond to it?
STEVE KERR: I think they're angry. I think they know that we could have won this game, could have won the last game. I think they're sitting in there and they're angry, as they should be. They're competitors.

I like what you said. This is the worst situation we've been in since Kevin's been here, and we're two wins from making the NBA Finals. So that's a pretty good worst situation to be in.

We're right there. We found some things tonight that worked for us. I'm extremely confident that we're going to take care of business, and we've just got to be a little sharper.

Q. Defensively you guys held them to under 100 points. What's been the difference with especially the perimeter defense? Why has it been so good these last two games?
STEVE KERR: Our defense?

Q. Yes.
STEVE KERR: Well, I think we have a lot of guys who are good perimeter defenders. Jordan Bell, [Kevon] Looney are doing a nice job trying to stay in front of Chris and James.

It's not an easy job. We've got a lot of guys -- K.D., Draymond, Klay, Steph -- who are really good at staying in front, keeping penetration from happening or rotating. We've been a great defensive team for years, and we're playing great defense.

As I said, too much reaching tonight and too many turnovers, and that's the simple story right there.

Q. Steve, how much does Chris Paul's presence on the court change things for you guys and make things tougher for you guys?
STEVE KERR: I'm sorry, how much does what?

Q. How much does Chris Paul's presence on the court change things for you guys and make things tougher for you guys with his intensity and his skills?
STEVE KERR: I think what Chris has done is he's given them another option. In the past, this team was always James on the pick-and-roll, and now they can rest James and put Chris on the pick-and-roll.

He's obviously a phenomenal player. He's a competitor. He hit big shots. Hit a couple shots that looked like it was going to be a shot clock violation, and he kind of pulled the rabbit out of the hat.

But that's what great players do. I've said it, there's a reason the Rockets won 65 games. They're a great team, and Chris is a big part of that.

Q. How would you characterize the way Steph and Klay played tonight? In the first quarter, Steph didn't even take a shot for seven or eight minutes. They obviously found their rhythm after a while, but in the fourth, as you suggested, rushed a bit. How would you evaluate the way they played?
STEVE KERR: I thought they were great. This game didn't surprise me. The Rockets had a little momentum from the last game. They're at home. They're coming out hair on fire, playing great defense. Didn't surprise me that we only scored 17 in the first quarter. Then I thought we settled in.

Fourth quarter, both Steph and Klay made some big plays. Klay's pump fake and three free throws were big for us. Steph made some hoops, couple shots I'm sure he'd like to have back. He had the runner down the stretch that looked good. He was right there. Just rattled out.

But, again, I thought our guys had played really hard and played really well, just got to be a little smarter.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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