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June 6, 2018

Kevin Durant

Cleveland, Ohio: Game Three

Warriors - 110, Cavaliers - 102

Q. I've been in these press conferences for a few weeks with you since the Houston series, and people keep asking you the question about Game 3 last year in The Finals, is it the defining moment of your career, and you know, you've said repeatedly that it's not. What does it say to all those people who are asking you about last year when you basically repeat the same thing in this situation, and did it feel similar?
KEVIN DURANT: It's a different game, different season. I mean, different feel. Just a different vibe around the team, around just -- everything's just different. But I'm not done playing basketball yet, so I don't really look at these as defining moments. I don't want to downplay anything, but I don't want to act like this is the end of the road. So just get back to work tomorrow and figure out a better game plan.

I thought we did some things tonight that we need to correct if we want to win the next game. So I'm just really trying to come in and be the best teammate, player I can be until this thing is over. I've just got to stay locked in.

Q. Given the stakes of this game, given the fact that the Cavs came out so strong, how much was it on your mind -- given the fact that your teammates were struggling, how much was it on your mind that so much of this game was on your shoulders?
KEVIN DURANT: I didn't think about it at all. I just tried to play hard defense, tried to rebound as best as I could. If my shots were there, I just take them patiently and with poise. I found some good spots, and my teammates did a great job of setting screens for me, setting me up. Coach did a great job of calling plays for me, and I just tried to come through and be aggressive, just to do something, you know?

But my main concern was defensive effort, intensity and rebounding.

Q. You told me that when it comes to the big three, the big three in the fourth quarter, you felt like Steph's three was the biggest one. Why would you say that?
KEVIN DURANT: I just felt like especially the way he was missing shots tonight, he was struggling to shoot the ball, and the confidence that he had to pull that one up, and just the momentum of the game just kind of turned in our favor at that point.

I know they hit a three coming back down afterwards, but they took like three or four shots to get one. So I felt like they were searching for a three. But we stayed poised through it all. We made good plays, and Andre came down and hit a dunk. And that just -- that momentum -- came down and got a nice dunk. But that momentum started when we had a stop first. And when Steph came down and took that three, no conscience, no matter how many shots he missed. That's what I love about him.

Q. The starters as a whole were struggling offensively. Did you know during the game that you would have to try to keep this pace up offensively to keep you guys in it?
KEVIN DURANT: Yeah, just tried to focus on each possession down. If we get a good shot down, no matter who takes it, I think we're all cool with that. I think defensively is when we came to play in the second half. We're going to need more of that effort, especially for a full 48, if we want to win.

Q. When you took that big shot, that big three, Draymond turned around and was like roaring right in your face, and you looked completely calm.

Q. Is that being in the zone? Can you describe what your feeling was? Is that the poise you just mentioned? Also, were you aware or how soon were you aware that there was a similarity between last year's shot?
KEVIN DURANT: Don't get me wrong, every time I make a shot in the NBA I get excited. I just internalize it a little bit as I get older a little bit more than I did as a younger player.

So I was definitely excited. It's hard to make shots at this level in the NBA, and I understand that. But at the same time I knew the game wasn't over. I've seen some crazy stuff happen in my years of playing basketball, not just in the NBA but just overall. We were up 6 with 25 seconds to go, I think. So anything could happen, man.

You know, I just tried to make sure that we came out and didn't foul a three-point shooter or didn't give up a wide-open three or got too excited about that play. I just try to stay in the zone of trying to win the game and we'll figure everything else out after the game's over. So I just try to wait until the buzzer goes off to even think about anything else.

Q. Were you aware it was very similar to last year's shot?
KEVIN DURANT: No, not at all. I just took the shot.

Q. Just the fact that Klay and Steph weren't hitting shots early and you were, how much of your workload was kind of by design of carrying a larger load as opposed to it just happening naturally?
KEVIN DURANT: It just happened within the flow. I wasn't expecting to come out or shoot a lot of shots or look to score. I was just trying to play great defense and run the plays that Coach draws up and just run with the flow of what our offense is like throughout the game.

I try not to think about just scoring. But, you know, we struggled to shoot the ball early on, and I felt like I had some good looks. I started asking for more of them, and I was able to knock down some shots for us.

Q. What did it mean to you, the enthusiasm Steph showed on a lot of your shots, especially because of the night he was having?
KEVIN DURANT: I mean, I just love that support from my teammates, and I think we all just support each other in a real -- with a real childlike approach to the game. That's rare in the NBA because we're all professionals. We're all grown men. But I think having guys that get so excited about a good play, a good block or a good rotation or a good shot or dagger shot. I think everybody gets excited for the small parts of the game, and Steph is one of those guys that just brings that joy.

That's what the Warriors are all about, is just us having some fun out there, but also being, you know, poised and all those good words.

Q. Kevin, as well as they played in the first half, I think they were up by 13 with four minutes left in the half. How important was that spurt just to get to halftime down 6? You hit a few big key shots, and your team got it to 6.
KEVIN DURANT: Yeah, we just -- we didn't want to panic and let them push the lead from 12 to 16, 17 going into the half. So we knew that they were knocking down shots, and we knew we had some breakdowns that we could correct. On the offensive side of the ball, we just kept moving and moving the ball, finding the mismatches, and just being aggressive, all of us, to score.

I thought Jordan Bell was tremendous tonight, Javale McGee was tremendous tonight, just giving us that, you know, rim presence, might catch the lob and it opened it up for everybody else. It's stuff that you really don't see as a normal fan or somebody watching the game, like JaVale and Jordan brought that for us.

I think that was key in the first half, at the end of the first half, those guys coming in, and Andre and the bench did a great job of kind of settling us down a little bit.

Q. How much did you beat yourself up after the missed box out late in Game 1?

Q. How much did that -- did it refocus you at all to rebound more? And when you do rebound, does that usually spread to the rest of your game?
KEVIN DURANT: I didn't beat myself up about that one. But this team, Cleveland especially, I think a lot of teams just try to beat us up on the glass and get more possessions than us. After Game 1, I had nine rebounds, but they were just like a soft nine rebounds, just ball falling in my hand or I'm in the right spot or uncontested rebounds.

So I knew coming in that should be my focus because these guys are so great at getting extra possessions for their team. So, you know, Draymond and JaVale and D. West, they do a good job of boxing out, so I wanted to come in there and help out as much as I can and help us kind of push the break if we get a rebound.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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