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May 26, 2018

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California: Game Six

Warriors - 115, Rockets - 86

Q. I know you had a lot of contributions from a lot of different players, but what is it about Klay Thompson in Game 6 when it's win or you guys go home?
STEVE KERR: Well, I thought Klay was amazing tonight, not just for 35 points and the nine threes, but his defense. The guy's a machine. He's just so fit physically. He seems to thrive in these situations. But he was fantastic.

Q. Did the sequence there early in the fourth where you guys -- Nick Young was the point person on [James] Harden, and you got two defensive stops, and then Klay's three, how big was that?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, the fourth quarter defense was fantastic. I thought Nick Young did a great job defensively. Gave us 16 big minutes. This has been a war of attrition this series, and I went away from Nick last game, went to Quinn [Cook], and came back to Nick this time.

I thought he handled himself really well. He made a beautiful catch and go or catch and drive and pass to Shaun Livingston for a big basket. But his defense was what really stood out.

Q. How would you describe tonight? Was just kind of push at all cost? It seemed make or miss, you guys were really trying to run it up?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, we wanted to push. Make or miss, we want to do that all the time. But for whatever reason, we haven't been doing that in this series. So we did a better job of that tonight.

I thought it was kind of a strange game because our defense has been really good throughout the series, and tonight it was awful to start the game. We lost people in transition. We didn't communicate. We gave up wide-open threes. They scored 39 points in the first quarter. It was sort of a head scratcher. Like I was more worried about the offense coming into the game than the defense.

But the defense eventually kicked in, and obviously that led to transition, and the shotmaking in the second half was just amazing.

Q. Tonight and this season, what's it been about the third quarter that brings the best out of you guys?
STEVE KERR: Just incredible halftime adjustments. The coaching staff has done amazing. I don't know. I think our guys, all season long, they've played great third quarters. I think they tend to get dialed in a little more. Tonight was a pretty good microcosm of our team in many ways. We have these lapses, and then we have these bursts and everything in between.

It's a strange start to the game. You could tell Houston could see it. They could see The Finals right here.

We kind of thought they would come out hot because this was a little bit of a free swing, Game 6, on the road. They know they've got Game 7 in their back pocket at home. So they came out loose. I thought they would shoot 50 threes tonight. They got 39. But it seemed like 50 to me early in the game. That's where it was heading.

But I think once we settled down defensively and started staying with people and not making mistakes in transition, then we wore them down a little bit.

Q. This was a pretty schizophrenic game. You started talking about it right there, and it seems like that's been a thread throughout the whole season. What do you think was wrong in the first half other than the great halftime adjustments that you talked about? They looked like two different teams out there?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, yeah, if you have any idea, please let me know. I have no clue why our team is like this. But this is -- this is kind of what we do. We're up and down a little bit.

The one thing I do know is that our guys have a ton of character and con of competitiveness, desire. They're champions. So our guys compete. That's the main thing. They may not always focus, but they compete.

Q. After what was relatively a slowish start for Steph Curry, what did you think of the way he went on to trust his shot and affect the game?
STEVE KERR: Steph was fantastic. Early in the game, he and K.D. [Kevin Durant] really struggled. It seemed to me we were in a big rush. We were passing out lamps to try to shoot threes in transition. We were launching threes just without a thought of maybe getting a better shot. I think once we kind of settled down and got back in the game and cut it to 8 or 10 points, I think we kind of calmed down.

I think Draymond [Green] at halftime had used the John Wooden line. He said: Be quick, but don't hurry. And nobody's ever said it better than John Wooden. That's the game of basketball. Be quick, but don't hurry. We were in such a hurry that first maybe 18, 20 minutes, and we kind of settled in.

Q. This game was reminiscent center Klay of 2016, Oklahoma City. You're also down 3-2. He gets 41 that night. Is there a quality about him in a desperate situation with the team facing elimination that allows him to produce these type of performances?
STEVE KERR: Yes. I think Klay doesn't worry too much about repercussions. He doesn't worry about judgment and results. I think he just loves to play.

He's so comfortable in his own skin. I just think he wants to go out there and hoop, and he doesn't worry about much else. So the pressure doesn't seem to bother him much. He just competes and plays. As I said, the two-way ability of this guy hounding the MVP of the league, most likely, all game, and continuing to rain down three-pointers, he's amazing.

Q. After last game there was a lot of discussion about Durant in isolation, and you said you'll take the mismatch every time. But was there so much? It looked like you went away from that in this game, was there some adjustment to go away from Durant on the post every single time and go more perimeter oriented?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, we've been trying to get back to being us all series. I think Houston has done a great job of defending us, switching everything. They've built a great roster to do what they're doing. They've got size and strength at every position. Sometimes you kind of have to figure it out in terms of the ball movement.

A lot of this stuff is different for us, because of the switching 1 through 5. So I think we've been trying to get more and more movement and mix in the K.D. isos against the mismatches. Tonight, obviously, we did a better job of finding the balance.

Q. Steve, did you expect Jordan Bell to get 21 minutes helping fill that [Andre] Iguodala void or did he just play so well that you had to leave him out there?
STEVE KERR: We kind of knew that Jordan and [Kevon] Looney would share a lot of minutes out there. There were a few minutes in the game where we go smaller, but generally one of them's going to be out there. This team is so difficult to guard because of the isolation ability. That's why we're playing our young mobile bigs with Jordan and Looney.

I give Jordan a lot of credit. He didn't play at all the first two rounds of the playoffs, but he stayed ready. Really worked hard on his conditioning. Every matchup is different. Every team that we play is different. This team that we're playing now requires really mobile, big defenders.

Q. You guys are 4-1 in elimination games since 2015, now you have the final game coming up, another 48 hours. I know you're not thinking about that right now. What's it going to take, you know, to get your team over the edge on the road?
STEVE KERR: Hopefully we don't fall down by 17 right away. We'd like to get off to a better start. But we like -- we like our formula. We like our defense against these guys, and we feel confident that we can carry this through to Game 7 on the road and continue to make things as difficult as possible on Houston without fouling.

I thought that was a real key tonight. We didn't reach. We reached so often in Game 5, and when they go to the line, it's free points, it's a rest for James, Eric Gordon. So we want the game to keep going, and we have to be disciplined enough to not reach and not commit fouls.

And the other factor is turnovers. The team that has won the turnover battle has won every game in this series. So that's critical.

Q. Do you have any optimism of Andre Iguodala potentially playing in Game 7, or are you going into it preparing and operating under the assumption that he won't play?
STEVE KERR: We're operating under the assumption that he will not play. But he literally is day-to-day, because it's a bone bruise. There's not sort of a timetable. It's more just up to the individual and how he's feeling, and we don't really know. So we'll just keep taking it day by day and we'll see what happens.

Q. Their defense was sort of forcing you to get jammed up a little bit. How did you finally shake loose? Was it their defense relaxing or you guys able to move the ball?
STEVE KERR: We did a better job moving the ball tonight, for sure. The pace was really fast, and I thought the one positive of Houston getting off to that start that they did was the pace was high. I didn't like the poor defense we were playing, but I like the pace. So I think once we settle down and we got the defense in a better position, then we started moving the ball, and the game felt more like a Warriors game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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