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June 7, 2018

Stephen Curry

Cleveland, Ohio: Practice Day

Q. How has your approach to having to face a player with one of the highest basketball IQs in history evolved during these four years in The Finals? Do you feel a little bit more comfortable as a team and as a player?
STEPHEN CURRY: Yeah, I mean, The Finals brings the best out of you. And when the competition is as great as it has been every year we've been here facing LeBron and the teams that he's been with, it tests you mentally and physically to get through these series.

Looking back to 2015-2016, last year and this year, there have been so many different challenges we've faced. Some we've succeeded at and some we haven't.

Definitely a better player than I was before these four series have started, and hopefully there will be an appreciation for that when it's all said and done.

Q. LeBron just said in order to win this series and games in The Finals, besides having talent, you need to be cerebral. So what is the state of mind and mindset you need to have now to close the series?
STEPHEN CURRY: Just understand the details defensively of what we need to do against a team like Cleveland, with the threats that they have. Understanding that Game 4 is going to be the toughest game that we've played in the series, to close it out. We're going to need energy, effort, focus from every guy that steps foot on the floor for 48 minutes.

Kind of like we did in Game 3, where we know they're going to throw some crazy punches and we've got to be able to weather the storm and their runs and the crowd and the atmosphere and all that. Just try to keep our composure as best we can. Whether shots go in or they don't, or calls go your way or they don't, no matter what the score is, you've got to keep fighting, keep playing. Because close-out games are the hardest things that you can ever experience in the playoffs.

Q. You guys have grown accustomed to winning 65, 67, 73, whatever the numbers have been the last three years. In a couple of ways, do you almost appreciate this run more because you guy had to show maybe a lot more toughness this season, had to deal with a lot more adversity this season than you had in the past three? Does it almost make you appreciate what you guys are about to do more, given the journey that you've been on this year?
STEPHEN CURRY: At the end of every season and run that we've had, there is always an appreciation for things you learn, things you've gone through. Going into this season, I don't think anybody could have guessed or predicted the ups and downs and the roller coaster we've been on.

So, definitely a different year, just overall, personally with injuries, as a team with dealing with injuries, dealing with the kind of expectations that have been placed on us from the outside and the noise around us as a team. Trying to understand that throughout the regular season we had to continue to get better, whether that was a slow process or not, and understand when the playoffs came around that probably wouldn't go 16-1 to win a championship. It's probably going to be a lot harder because teams are keying in on us and shifting their lineups and stuff like that. That's been how it's been.

I think for us to do what we did in the Conference Finals and win a Game 7 on the road, we had never done that before. And now to be one game away, it's been a crazy ride. So now we've just got to finish the job. I think we're all excited about that opportunity.

Q. There's a video going around of you kind of yelling into your jersey right after you left the court last night. What was going through your mind at that point?
STEPHEN CURRY: Obviously, happy to get the win. It was a tough game all the way around. When you go through that kind of competitive experience for 48 minutes, there is a sense of relief walking off the floor with a win.

Obviously, I always say I'm my biggest critic, and I would have loved to have made a couple more shots earlier in the game and things like that. So sometimes you have to get rid of those thoughts and understand there is another opportunity on Friday to rectify that.

But walking off the floor up 3-0, having won a game on the road, there was definitely a sense of relief and just getting those emotions out.

Q. Is that a conscious decision you've made at some point when you need to let those emotions out, to do it after the game, before you get in here with us? Is that the right time? Or is that just when it happened to come out last night?
STEPHEN CURRY: I've never thought to walk up here on the podium and just yell. So, no, I've never had that impulse. But usually, like I said, when you're in that pressure-type environment on the court and there's 19-, 20,000 fans screaming at you for two and a half hours, when you walk off the court and you're in the tunnel walking into the locker room, yeah, there is a little time to decompress a little bit. It might come out a bunch of different ways, but yesterday, yeah, I just wanted to yell and get it over with.

Q. Two full years with Kevin Durant now and a lot of success, obviously. But are there times when you still find yourself sort of feeling out who has the hot hand at a given time or when you need to take over a little bit and when you need to defer to Kevin a little bit?
STEPHEN CURRY: Not really. It's been very fluid, especially this year. It's been well documented last year how it went up until we were in this building. I think over the Christmas Day game, and us having kind of a come-to-Jesus meeting afterward about what we needed to do differently to build some momentum down the stretch of that season to get ready for the playoffs.

But this year has been a lot more comfortable, a lot more -- just understood how we feel out the game and what plays to call. Understand we all can be aggressive and we're not going to step on anybody's toes. We all understand that we'll have an opportunity to impact the game, whether it's for stretches of the game or a play here, a play there.

But we all need to be aggressive and be threats and be confident out there. It's been fun to be on that journey and kind of learn a new system within an old system pretty quickly these last two years.

Q. LeBron said last night, and I think he just said it again just now, since you guys have gotten Kevin, there is sort of less pressure on each of you guys individually. You could have a bad game, and Kevin could have a night like that. Do you agree with the statement that there's less pressure on you guys individually? And two, if you don't agree with it, what is the pressure that you guys feel individually?
STEPHEN CURRY: I mean, yeah, if a game happened like last night and I shot 3-for-16 and we had guys scoring under 15 without K.D. having the game he had, it would have been a lot tougher to win.

But pressure, I don't necessarily agree with that, because I feel like every time we step foot on the floor we put pressure on ourselves to be great. Whether you live up to it or not, you've got to be OK with your effort and your intensity and whatnot and the result of the game.

We don't win 70 -- or whatever we won, 67 games last year -- and go through the journey we did this year without everybody feeling a sense of pressure and sense of urgency every night that you step foot on the floor. Whether you get the job done or not, we all want to show up and do our jobs at a high level, because that's what got us all to where we are today as individual players and as a team.

K.D. definitely falls into that. He helps the situation, but we don't walk on the floor like, Oh, there is K.D. We're good. We still have to play and play hard and play well.

Q. How different are the Cavaliers without Kyrie Irving?
STEPHEN CURRY: He's an unbelievable player. I don't know much about how much their schemes have changed. They run a lot more sets to try to get guys open shots outside of LeBron creating and things like that. It's just different, but I don't really know how to explain it. Kyrie is such a unique talent. You can just give him the ball and he'll create a shot for you.

They're much more bent on executing in the half court and trying to create shots with movement, with screens and things like that. And obviously you can just give the ball to LeBron and he can create most times than not. That's my best way of explaining it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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