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May 28, 2018

Mike D'Antoni

Houston, Texas: Game Seven

Warriors - 101, Rockets - 92

Q. Game 6, you guys are up 39-22 early. Kind of fell apart late. Tonight up 15 and they made the third-quarter run, did you feel like you just ran out of what you needed to have in the second half?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Yeah, obviously, you could see it. First of all, I've got to congratulate them. They're a heck of a team. Steve [Kerr] does a great job whether they're young players or superstars. They are great shooters and they hit big shots. Just, we go 7-for-44, it's just going to be a tough night. And we had to be clicking and we didn't quite get there.

Couldn't be more proud of the team the way they battled. There was no quit in them. We see what the bar is. We almost got there this year. And I just told James [Harden] and Chris [Paul], it might take winning seven next year and come back, and us and somebody and we're going to -- we'll let Daryl [Morey] assess that over the summer. We'll take our summer off, and then we're going to try it again.

I hope really the people -- I know our fans appreciate these guys. It's just so hard what they did. I couldn't be prouder to be associated with them and have the privilege to coach them. So, anyway.

Q. In that stretch, middle of the second quarter, middle of the fourth, you missed 27 straight threes?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Were you yelling drive it (laughing)?

Q. No, were you?
MIKE D'ANTONI: No, but we missed a few layups, and I hear people saying quit settling for lay-ups and take threes. It's just the way we play. We didn't really have it.

Again, I'll just look at the fight and hustle and what they mean as people, and like I said, I couldn't be prouder. I'll go back and we'll nitpick things and try to get better next year, but just a good group of guys all year, all year.

Q. Overall do you feel like you had the looks and at some point you were going to have to make?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Yeah, we had good looks, not everyone was good, but neither was theirs. They just made a high percentage. We did a pretty good job with the turnovers. We did everything well, except they outshot us. They were 16-of-39, and we were 7-of-44. That's kind of the tale of it. When they make their little runs, we have to be able to hit threes to keep them at bay, and we just couldn't do it or didn't do it.

Q. You played them for seven games and there is a physical exhaustion that comes with that. But is there a mental exhaustion too?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Oh, yeah. These guys, you think you've got them or you think you're guarding them okay, and it's just, if you just take a deep breath one time, it's a three. That's why they're so good. That's why they're playing.

You know, hat's off to them. But I think we're very close, obviously. Some things we'll tweak, and we'll get back on the horse and we'll get these guys here pretty soon.

Q. You guys had a great year, and there are things to build on. So what do you tell your guys in the offseason? What is the message for them?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Obviously, Golden State has set the bar for the whole league, not just us. We know where we have to go. We feel like we're really close, and we just need a good summer of work. A good summer of -- you know, we turned it on defensively, I think, from the All-Star break on. That will not slip. We'll get even better there.

And so I'm obviously optimistic because of the guys we're dealing with, and they're winners. You keep knocking on the door, and they'll eventually open.

Q. You've influenced the NBA to shoot more three pointers, but you've also not yet coached in the NBA Finals. Does a game like this make you lose some confidence in relying on three-point shooting?
MIKE D'ANTONI: No, because the other team's doing it. It would be different if they were -- no, not at all. No, that's what you do. That's where the game's going. No, now we should have made some more, but no, I don't lose confidence in that. No, we've got the right formula. We've got to execute it. We've got to do a little bit better, and it would be nice if they would help out a little bit, but it seems like they're not. We'll get better.

Q. You guys won 65 games this year, got so close here to push the defending champs to seven games. You mentioned Daryl, what they'll do in the offseason.
MIKE D'ANTONI: Right, we're obsessing right now.

Q. What do you think this team needs to add to get over the hump?
MIKE D'ANTONI: You know what, it's way too early. That's Daryl's department. I love each guy. So it's hard to even be objective, me to be objective. That's the upstairs. That's their job to be cold and objective, and do what they think is best for the team. Then once we get in the trenches, I'll be happy with whoever we've got.

Q. I know you're focused largely on the game. But when you see Chris Paul on the bench during a Game 7 with a chance to maybe go into The Finals, what did you see out of him? How are you feeling seeing him sitting in that spot, unable to play?
MIKE D'ANTONI: We knew it was going to be tough on him. Mostly I hate it for him. He's probably more devastated than anybody. But, again, I know the fans of Houston, especially myself, to have him on your side is incredible. He'll be back. Like I said, he'll be even better. We'll be better.

But he's what's right about basketball, why we get into it. What he does in the community and how he speaks out for the rights of people, there are just so many layers to him as a person that I like being around him. It makes me a better person. I can't tell you.

It's funny, it started when we signed him in July, and it's one goal and getting everybody on the same page and going, and just making my life a lot better, that's for sure.

Q. In the locker room afterwards, what did you say to the guys?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Devastated. They were devastated. I haven't seen P.J. [Tucker] yet. He's cramped up somewhere. So just guys. We thought we were so close. We had it. We thought we had it. We had the first half. In the sixth game, we had this half. Tip your hat to them, but at the same time guys gave everything they've got, so it's normal to be devastated.

I think they're still proud of the work we did, but at the same time, it hurts.

Q. Over the course of the series they end up outscoring you guys by 68 points in the third quarter alone. What happened in that quarter tonight? Why was that such a trend during the series?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Well, I mean, first of all, they've done that all year against everybody, and that's what their trademark is. We know it. It's not like a secret. Just seems like they came out a little bit more determined than we were right at the beginning. The juice was flowing on their side, and then they get it going, and it's you have to turn them off.

Again, I thought we had a -- excuse me. It happened in Game 6. You know, you're up 4. We were up 4. Two wide-open threes and we don't knock them down.

That's what C.P. was so good at the two games we won, they'd make a little run, what, he'd hit a three. They make another run, and he makes another play. And you had to have those momentum changers and stoppers, and the last two games we didn't have them. I thought we had good looks, but the ball didn't go in.

Q. How hard is it to stomach being in a situation where you've got two chances to close them out, but you don't have Chris available?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Well, it is tough. But, again, it's part of the game. I thought we had enough, and I still do. It's just, I think, devastating to the players, to me, to all the fans of Houston.

But on the other hand, then I look and I try to be optimistic, and I just love our spirit and what they try to do and how they climbed all year to get where they've got to get that close. It's

funny, I'm devastated, but I'm proud. It's like, I don't know what I am. I know I'm old, and that's it. I'll go home and watch it, and try to -- the only thing I know is that we'll get together and try to do better next year.

Q. That second half was going on, and you guys just couldn't buy one of those threes to go down. Most of them pretty good open looks. At some point were you just kind of exasperated that you couldn't get any of them down?
MIKE D'ANTONI: Yeah, yeah, but you're in the fight. You don't really reflect back. We needed some of them, and then, again, it just goes by. Like their guys. They were trying, and it's not like we were trying to miss them. A little bit like last night's game in Boston. They had chances and didn't hit them.

As they say, it's kind of a make-and-miss league, and they made them; we didn't make them. I thought our looks were good. Sure, we could always be better, but we were -- won the turnover battle, so there are a lot of good things we did. Offensively rebounded the first half really good, and then the juice kind of seeped out, and so be it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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