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May 28, 2018

James Harden

Houston, Texas: Game Seven

Warriors - 101, Rockets - 92

Q. Mike [D'Antoni] was saying that you guys were pretty devastated. How close did you feel to getting over the hump this time against the Warriors?
JAMES HARDEN: One half of basketball. Two games, Games 6 and 7. One half of basketball. We just didn't have the same energy that we had in that first half or the pace. So, it's extremely frustrating.

Q. Was there a point in the third quarter where it felt like it was starting to get away?
JAMES HARDEN: Not really. Not really. I mean, even when they went up I think -- they ended up up seven, but we had a lot of opportunities, a lot of opportunities. And even in that fourth quarter, we had a lot of opportunities, three opportunities that we were open that just didn't go down.

Q. How hard is it to deal with the what-ifs with Chris [Paul] going down?
JAMES HARDEN: We don't even think about that. We had an opportunity tonight and last game without Chris. Obviously he's a big part of why we're here, but we had opportunities, especially in that first half both games.

Q. Whenever you're -- since you all relied so heavily on the three pointer, when it wasn't falling, was there a thought of changing?
JAMES HARDEN: No, there wasn't. I mean, we had a lot of open shots. I think we competed, and competed the best we can.

Give them credit. They made tough shots. Just a couple calls that just, you know, just weren't right.

Q. Klay [Thompson] picks up three fouls right away. You guys are totally dominating the offensive glass. They're turning it over almost every possession. Why is it so difficult when a team plays so out of character like they did tonight early? Why is it so difficult to put that team away?
JAMES HARDEN: I think it's the same thing for us as well. They've got four All-Stars on their team, that helps. But you know, they've got a system. They've got the players, and they execute. Yeah.

Q. Can you describe the feeling of when you guys are getting those threes and you've made so many of them through so many games and they just keep missing over and over?
JAMES HARDEN: We're just going to keep shooting them. We've done it all year long. The first half, just our energy defensively was different. That created more opportunities for the three and they went in.

As a result of that, we got a double-digit lead going into halftime. Those same opportunities were there in the second half, we just didn't make them. They made tough shots. That's it pretty much.

Q. Can you just talk about the play of Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker, especially down the stretch?
JAMES HARDEN: Limited guys, big minutes, but guys had heart, man. That's one thing that you can say about our team. We're going to fight until the end.

Eric, Tucker have been doing it all year. Eric's role has increased since Chris went out, and I think he did an excellent job of stepping up and making plays. We just came up a little short.

Q. The pick-and-roll going on with [Clint] Capela looked like it was working with the alley-oop. Was there more thinking of going back to that when the three points shots weren't falling?
JAMES HARDEN: I mean, that was another reason. Just in that second half our pace wasn't there. In the third quarter I was trying to get the guys: Come on, let's go. Let's go, it's time. But we didn't have that extra juice that we needed. I don't know if it was the big minutes. I don't know what it was. Whatever it was.

But in that sense, you throw Clint pick-and-roll, you throw it to Clint, Clint finds the shooters or Clint finishes the basketball. We executed that in the first half. Not so strong in the second.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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