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May 16, 2019

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California - Postgame 2

Golden State 114, Portland 111

Q. Do you feel like you dodged a bullet there tonight?
STEVE KERR: Oh, totally. We stole that game. I thought they outplayed us for much of the night, the majority of the night, but we brought enough competitive fire in the second half to overcome their great play.

We've been here before. I think our experience helped us. We've done this a few times, and yeah, we stole it for sure. They outplayed us.

Q. The third quarter was a turning point in this game. Two years ago you led the league in the third quarter differential and you outscored your opponents by almost five and a half points. Did it bring you back to that season, the 2016-17 year and how big was that third quarter in your mind?
STEVE KERR: I was actually thinking of the 2013 year when that was happening -- no, I'm just kidding (laughter).

I wasn't thinking about any other thing but tonight's game. This was -- you know, if you've been watching the NBA for a while, or part of it, Game 2's scare you. If Game 1 goes smoothly, Game 2 is terrifying because human nature sets in, and I thought that was the case tonight.

And they have two days to stew on the first game and make their adjustments, and so that's -- you know, that's something we knew was coming, but human nature doesn't allow you to bring the same level of fear and appropriate fear and respect and the edge that you need, and we didn't find that until the third quarter.

We were down I guess 16 at half or 15, but the NBA game is a long, long game. There's so many possessions, and with our team we always feel like we have a chance. We kept playing and our guys got it done. They were amazing in that third quarter and then down the stretch, as well.

Q. You guys were down eight with I think four minutes left and Draymond [Green] got it going, and he got a few passes and a block. How would you describe his play down the stretch?
STEVE KERR: Draymond? Tremendous. He was in some foul trouble tonight, and I thought our bench did a good job of keeping us in the game and allowing us to keep Draymond on the bench late third, early fourth, we bought him some time and I guess he came in around the eight-minute mark. His play, his defensive play down the stretch, and Andre's [Iguodala] play at the end there, just fantastic stuff. That's what it takes in the playoffs, you have to have guys playing at a really high level. Obviously Steph was brilliant and [Kevon] Looney was brilliant and we got the defensive effort that we needed down the stretch.

Q. Obviously Steph and Klay [Thompson] have done this so many times before, but especially with Kevin [Durant] out what kind of leadership qualities did you see them showing throughout the game?
STEVE KERR: They just, you know, they know who they are and they know our team. This team's been together a long time and they trust each other. When the ball starts moving, that's when we're tough to guard. I thought in the first half, we were taking some quick shots when we fell behind, and I thought in the third quarter, we finally started to settle down and Steph and Klay had a big part in that.

Q. They had 18 made threes and you guys had nine. It's very uncommon in this league for the team that makes the most threes, especially by that margin, to not win. That happen to your team very often?
STEVE KERR: It happened in the Houston series. There was a game where they made 17. It can happen. You know, it doesn't happen often in this league, but you know, that's one of the reasons I said I felt like we stole it. I mean, they shot the lights out. They did a great job spacing the floor and moving the ball against our traps. They got good shots. They got big performances from Seth Curry and Rodney Hood off bench, and so yeah, we dodged a bullet for sure.

Q. Talking about how you stole this game, have you seen a walk-off steal like Iguodala had at the end?
STEVE KERR: I think from André. He's done that before. During my five years here, I think I've seen him do that a couple of times. He's an incredible defender because he's got the whole package between the athleticism, the length, but most importantly, the brain. He just understands his opponent. He understands the spots where the opponent is trying to get to, and quick hands to get a steal like he did on that last play. It was an amazing play against one of the best players in the league.

Q. There was a lot made of the coverages on Steph after Game 1. What are you seeing from him and can you talk about his game right now?
STEVE KERR: What do I think about what?

Q. How he's playing right now in general, reacting to the defense the way he has.
STEVE KERR: He's been on a great run these last few games. He had a few games during the Houston series that weren't up to his standards. He would be the first to tell you that.

But from Game 6 in Houston through these first two games, he's just been on a great roll but that's what you expect from great players. They might have a couple tough games but they don't stay down for long.

Q. Draymond gets a lot of attention for his energy, but what does he bring on the offensive end with his play-making and the way he pushes the ball?
STEVE KERR: Well, he's our leading assist guy. The way people play Steph allows Draymond to be the play maker frequently in our games because he catches the ball out of the traps and he's just a great passer and great decision-maker, throwing the lob, throwing the cross-court passes. He's a fantastic two-way player and a guy who has just been irreplaceable around here for a long time.

Q. Jordan Bell had a career night, especially in the third quarter. What allowed him to get his game going?
STEVE KERR: It's a good series for him. It's a good matchup. The way we're playing suits him. We need a lot of speed out there. I think the last three games, Game 6 in Houston and the first two games here, he's kind of settled down and he's been very comfortable. Very relaxed. He's not in a rush and he's playing good basketball, so he will continue to get minutes.

Q. Steph has talked about what it's like to face his brother in a situation like this on this kind of stage. They know each other so well. They have such feelings for each other. When you watch them go at each other tonight and the way that Seth [Curry] knows and reads Steph, what's it like watching that dynamic, watching them game within the game, best each other?
STEVE KERR: Well, I thought of their parents at one point. Can you imagine watching your two boys go head-to-head in a playoff game and both of them hitting huge shots? It must have been an amazing night for Dell [Curry] and Sonya [Curry] and Sydel [Curry]. It's an incredible story to have two boys in the NBA, but particularly in the Conference Finals, playing head-to-head and knocking down all these big shots. That must be fun.

Q. We got the news on Kevin before the game started. From your point of view, first of all, what is your reaction that he'll be re-evaluated next week? And is there a mental adjustment or anything going from wondering if he might be back to maybe thinking he won't be back in this series?
STEVE KERR: There's no mental adjustment. You just play. You go out there with what you have, and this is our third game, three and a half games, really without him, and so we're just trying to hold down the fort.

Hopefully he continues to progress and he has made progress, but it's a little more serious than we thought at the very beginning. So we'll see where it all goes, but he's in there all day long getting treatment. He's done a great job of committing himself to that process. Rick [Celebrini] and his staff are in there all day, and hopefully he'll be back at some point, but we'll just -- you know, we'll just wait and see.

Q. Game 2. You're up 2-0 now. Now you have to go up to Portland. Game every other day. What is your view going into Game 3?
STEVE KERR: Well, we're fortunate to be in the position we're in. We know we're going into one of the toughest arenas to play in in the league. We've been in this situation many times, so we know how we have to play. We've got to play with great discipline and -- and some desperation like we did for only parts of the game tonight. We've got to play that way the whole game, and that's what it will take up in Portland.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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