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May 14, 2019

Damian Lillard

Oakland, California - Postgame 1

Golden State 116, Portland 94.

Q. What were the Warriors doing tonight to make things difficult for you and your teammates?
DAMIAN LILLARD: I think they gave a lot of attention to the ball when I was coming off screens. Even when I was in isolation situations, I was seeing two and three people. I think that was obvious, you know, that they were trying to make things hard for me just by making me see two bodies and sending two guys at me sometimes. Sometimes I couldn't get an attempt up, even if I was trying to force it.

They did a good job tonight defensively and even when I was trying to find guys, they were getting deflections just because it was a crowd. They were making me play in a crowd. I thought they were successful at that in this first game.

Q. What can you guys, what adjustment can you make, to get a hand in Steph's face a little more, make it a little more difficult for him to get that shot off?
DAMIAN LILLARD: Yeah, that was very poor execution, you know, defensively on our part. Just having our bigs back that far; understanding the team we are playing against, they are not going to shoot mid-range jumpers and try to attack the rim. If they see the opportunity to shoot a three, they are going to tell you. They shoot it at a high clip. We've got to bring our guys up and run them off the line, and tonight, we were, you know, they were setting solid screens and coming off shooting practice shots. You know, that's the last thing we need if we want to have any chance to beat this team.

Q. I know you're at the highest level, but you're coming off a very emotionally gut-wrenching win over Denver. How tough is it to summon up all that energy and enthusiasm again just two nights later, when they have had a little extra time?
DAMIAN LILLARD: I mean, obviously it's a little bit difficult physically, you know, and a little bit emotional just because you're excited about being in the Western Conference Finals. You win seven games, got one on the road and you're excited about that and you have to come straight here right from Denver and start prep and get ready for the best team in the league right now.

It's tough, but once we lace our shoes up and put our uniforms on, it's fair and square. You have to go out there and handle your business. I thought our minds were right. We came in the game ready. But they are a team, they go on runs and they make shots, and the game can get away from you.

Tonight, we had too many moments where we had slip-ups defensively, 20 turnovers that led to over 30 points, and you can't allow that. If you allow that against this team, especially on the road, you're going to have a slim chance to win. So I think it was more about that than the series that we played previously.

Q. It's only one game, though, Damian.

Q. What do you have to do to prep for the next 48 hours to put in a better performance?
DAMIAN LILLARD: I think we've got to go look at it. I haven't watched the game. You know, obviously it's fresh so I can remember a lot of things after the game that can come off the top of the head, but you forget a lot of things, as well.

Once we go back and look at it and see what we can do better offensively to take advantage of the way they cover and what we like to do, our protocols, our actions out of the corner, our pin-downs, just see how we can be more effective in the things that we do based on what they showed us tonight.

But I think the main thing we'll talk about is the adjustments we need to make defensively, guarding them coming off all those screens and taking care of the ball, stuff like that. Like I said, we turn the ball over as much as we did, as much as I did, with how much I had the ball in my hands, you know, not valuing it enough, it's going to hurt you.

I think we'll be addressing a lot of things on both ends.

Q. You mentioned the challenge of turning around from a Game 7. How are you feeling physically? Looked like you were grabbing your hammy a little bit. Is there any issue?
DAMIAN LILLARD: Physically I feel pretty good. This year more than any other, I feel strong. I feel healthy. You know, I've been training nonstop in the weight room and on the court just keeping my body strong. I feel as good as I've felt to this point in my career.

And just my hamstring, I just got knee'd in it. It wasn't like I came up on it or anything. I got knee'd in it. It felt like it got bruised a little bit. That was it.

Q. What emotions do you feel in this series, coming back home to Oakland in the Conference Finals? Is it something special to play in your home city? Is it a distraction? Can you speak to that, please?
DAMIAN LILLARD: I think the situation is special. I think obviously growing up in Oakland, growing up a Warriors fan, and this being the last year of them playing in Oakland; all of those things I think it's special for those reasons.

But for me, it's not my first time playing against this team. It's not my first time playing here, so I wouldn't say it's a distraction.

I think it's a bigger deal to everybody else than it is to know. You know, everybody else wants to talk about it and make a big deal about it but I just want to play basketball. I see my family and talk to them all the time, so it's not like I've not seen them since I've been in the NBA. We're just trying to win the series. All that extra stuff, that's coming from everybody else, not me.

Q. It's almost like a family reunion every time you come here. Just talking to your brother, it's a good reason to come back together to be back here in a place you're obviously so familiar with, this arena that's closing down.
DAMIAN LILLARD: Yeah, like I said, that's part of what makes it special. I'm from here, and I think just me being so close to here, I can walk home from here if I wanted to, so that tells you how close it is, and just growing up around so many of these people. You know, the Warriors weren't always the Warriors that they are today. A lot of the people I grew up with, a lot of my friends, they are fans of this team. So when I come back, it's a little bit of -- it causes problems.

It's special. You see the faces in the crowd. This is the only place -- I don't pay attention to the crowd, but in the game I'm running down the court and I look one way and I'm recognizing people left and right that I know. Not just that I recognize the face. They probably got my phone number (laughter). It's kind of weird, but I mean, it's -- I think that speaks to how special it is to be home and be able to play in front of all these people.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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