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May 28, 2018

Steve Kerr

Houston, Texas: Game Seven

Warriors - 101, Rockets - 92

STEVE KERR: Before we start, I just want to say congratulations to Houston on an amazing season and series. I have so much respect for their organization, what they've done this past year, coming out and aiming for us. They compete. They played both ends. They got a lot of toughness, a lot of grit, and we were lucky to escape out of here.

I genuinely feel badly for Chris Paul not being able to play these last couple of games. Just like I feel badly for Andre Iguodala. You hate when these guys who compete their whole lives and practice and train and plan for this moment, and they're not able to be part of it. It's a shame.

But I'm proud of our guys for the way they held together after almost coming completely unglued in the first half. But that second half was something. A lot of amazing shot making from some talented players. I don't know what the hell else was going on out there, but we did fight, and we got it going in the second half. I'll take questions.

Q. What was said in the locker room at halftime? Was there any conversation? Did you give one of those grand speeches?
STEVE KERR: There was actually a food fight. People were throwing stuff. It was really one of the most bizarre first halves of basketball that we've played since I've been here. We were so scattered, every part of the game plan went out the window in the first 45 seconds, basically.

Committed four fouls in 55 seconds, when rule number one is don't commit any silly fouls, and you have four fouls in 55 seconds, you know you're not locked in. But this is what happens in Game 7s. Everybody's scattered. Last night's Game 7 in Boston, same thing. Shots are harder to make, tougher to execute. Defenses have the edge over offenses because everybody's tense. But we just lost our composure in that first half, and the main message in the locker room was we're down 11. That's about two minutes for us if we execute, and we've got to take care of the ball and we've got to rebound.

They killed us on the offensive glass. P.J. Tucker was amazing. But we made enough plays in the second half, and we settled down just enough to get going.

Q. On that same theme of the difference between the first and second half, specifically with Steph [Curry] and Kevin [Durant], what was the difference between those two halves, both with how they were scoring or just playing overall?
STEVE KERR: Well, they're both so talented. Houston was playing so hard. People are going to look at the stat sheet and say, you know, 7-for-44, and you're going to see some highlights. You're going to see all the open ones they missed. But they were getting after us. Their defense was tremendous in the first half. Overplaying everything. We couldn't get to our spots.

Everything we got going the other night in Game 6, we couldn't get to tonight. Houston was just outperforming us, outcompeting us.

But our talent took over. It's as simple as that. We've got three of the best shot makers in the league. They all got hot at different points of the second half and made great plays. We did a great job defensively too in the second half. We stayed with it.

Q. What were you thinking in doing during the first half? You could see some of the things, you were calling timeouts and that, but were you thinking, we've lost it? What was your confidence level at that point?
STEVE KERR: I was thinking of resigning, that was my first thought. I walked in at halftime, and I said, I don't even recognize this team. We've been together for four years. I didn't recognize the group that we were seeing. But sometimes you forget. Game 7, you get some nerves. There is so much nervous energy, but it was really -- I don't know how else to describe it. It was a bizarre half.

But I knew how tired Houston was. The way they play with James [Harden] running so many screen and rolls, that's exhausting. Then he's got to go down to the other end and guard Klay [Thompson], and getting switched off on to Kevin or Steph, it's tiring. So he had such a big burden on his shoulders. We just wanted to maintain our defense or get our defense going, and hope that the fatigue on their side would be a factor.

I knew our guys would make some shots. We've got a lot of guys. Obviously, we have four all stars. We might have the three best shooters in the league, so I knew we'd score. But we had to corral them and wear them down.

Q. I'm sure the entire Warriors fan base was just praying for another Steph Curry third quarter thing. When it's actually happening, what are you thinking when you see he's kind of got a rhythm going?
STEVE KERR: Not surprising. It usually happens at some point during the game. But that's ultimately what loosens the game up and what gets us going is Steph's offense, and Steph's high screens, and three-point shots off those screens.

For whatever reason, he seems to infuse us with energy. Kevin keeps us going with just his methodical scoring. But when Steph and Klay get it going from three, that's when our team really seems to take off.

Q. Klay obviously picked up a couple of fouls really early on, but then in the second quarter it seemed like he was the only one who could get anything going offensively, and he's the one who kept you guys within striking distance. What did you think about his overall game?
STEVE KERR: I thought Klay got himself in trouble early with the fouls. After the second foul I decided to keep him in because I generally do that. I leave a guy out there for a little bit, and then I don't want to take him out right away, but then he picked up his third right away, and it was sort of a disaster.

So it was great that we were able to survive the first quarter and then go to Klay in the second quarter, and he kind of kept our head above water.

Q. I know you talk about the talent of your team and how they'll get it going. But when you see them completely throw out the game plan, as you say, in the first minute, and when you see Klay pick up three fouls in four minutes, what is it about your guys that you know a game like this will eventually go your way?
STEVE KERR: It's amazing how long the NBA game is. 48 minutes. It lasts a long time, and there are so many opportunities to get yourself going as a team. With our team, there is just so much firepower that at some point, we're going to get going. As long as we stay with it and take care of the ball and get some rebounds, at least stay close in the possession game.

I don't know what it was in the first half, but they had so many offensive boards. We had so many turnovers. They must have had 15 more possessions than we did. Once we got that kind of evened out, I thought we got things rolling.

Q. Is there a different feeling with this team? Are you any more proud of this team than the other three that have gone to The Finals because you didn't have home-court advantage, you were down. You had to fight back from double-digit deficits, is there a different feeling?
STEVE KERR: That's like asking which is your favorite child. For the record, Maddy is my favorite, Nick and Matthew are okay, but Maddy, she's my pride and joy, so, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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