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June 5, 2019

Kawhi Leonard

Danny Green

Oakland, California - Postgame 3

Raptors - 123, Warriors - 109

Q. For you Kawhi, to be back here for the first time on such a big stage since your injury, especially The Finals, especially after what it's taken to get back here, how does it feel to get a win in Oracle tonight?
KAWHI LEONARD: It feels good. I don't think about what happened two years ago, pretty much living in the now and just happy we were able to get a Game 3 win, another step closer to our goal.

Q. Danny, why was "Let it rip" just the right message tonight for you guys on the whiteboard, and who wrote it, and how well did Kyle Lowry follow that advice?
DANNY GREEN: I think we all kind of followed that advice, but it's just easier to look at that now and say it worked great for us, especially on a great shooting night.

But it's been a while since the whole playoff series. We haven't really had a good team shooting night, and I knew eventually at some point we were due for one. So luckily we got one tonight, but we still have to do a better job defensively on that end of the floor to limit those guys better so we don't have to rely on our offense or our shooting to win games for us.

But luckily it did tonight, and hopefully next game we can continue to stay warm and let it rip and hopefully play even better defense.

Q. Danny, Shaquille O'Neal apparently offered some shooting advice to you?
DANNY GREEN: He's a pure shooter. I don't know if you guys knew that or not (laughter).

Q. Can you fill us in on what he suggested and what effect it had on your performance tonight?
DANNY GREEN: Yeah, I spoke to him before the game briefly. He's always on the TNT set. He was out there right before the game. And every time I see him, he's giving me his pure shooting advice, because he was good at it.

And but just the fundamentals, the small things, telling me to be confident and just hold the follow-through. And obviously after a good shooting night, it's easy to see that his advice has worked. But he always just yells to me, Leave it. And that's his way of saying leave your hand up there, hold your follow-through and be confident in your shot.

But he's always been that guy to me everywhere or every year that we get on the playoffs or on this stage where he comes over and tells me stay confident and give me his shooting advice.

Q. What do you make of all the fan support so far? I don't know if you were aware, but several Raptors fans -- dozens of Raptors fans, rather, stuck around after the game, broke out a rendition of "O Canada," and I just want to know what your thoughts were on just all this fan support, people traveling all the way here to the Bay Area to support you guys.
DANNY GREEN: I'll take this one since he answers probably a ton of them. But our fans have been amazing for us throughout the whole season. And in the playoffs especially. The first two games they did a great job. We didn't hold our end up in Game 2. But we had to come back home hopefully keeping them proud, or make them proud. And hopefully upping the series would be great.

But all around the world there's Canadian fans surprisingly. That's one thing I learned being on this team, a lot of Canada is all over, and it's kind of close. People from Vancouver may drive down. But Raptors fans are crazy, man. They're all over the place and they come from all over the place to watch the games and to support us.

We know how big of a stage and how big of an accomplishment it is just us getting here, but we know the job's not done and we want to continue to make them proud and hopefully give them their first title.

Q. Kawhi, going into the game, especially when you found out the Warriors were going to be without Klay, how important was it in retrospect to make sure you got this one on the road?
KAWHI LEONARD: It was very important, but I really didn't find out until the tip-off started. They told us that he was playing tonight, and that was the mindset going out on the floor that's playing. And it was a lot of pressure, it's a lot of pressure, too, if one of the main guys is not playing, they can still come out and get a win. Steph played great tonight. But it was big. I'm happy we got it. Two wins away now and let's see what this momentum carries us to.

Q. Kawhi, when you have such balanced scoring from your starting unit, how does that help your game, both offensively and defensively? And the secondary question that I had for you, I know you're not on social media, but I don't know if you were aware that your catch phrase, the board man gets paid, has been going very viral right now. And we just wanted to confirm: Is that actually something that you said?
KAWHI LEONARD: I used to say that back when I was in high school and college. Just wanting to get to this league, just -- it's about working hard, basically, outworking the opponent. Rebounds help you win games, big rebounds, offensive rebounds, limiting the team to one shot. And that used to be our motto, just some of us that were in college that was trying to get to this point. I forgot your first two questions.

Q. How does the balanced scoring of the starting unit help open up your game offensively?
KAWHI LEONARD: Once I'm driving in the paint, kicking out to guys that are making shots, the defense doesn't want to collapse as easy, and we just got to keep playing them in a flow, really. I feel like we just don't need to worry about me scoring the basketball, we all can score with the offense that we have, just got to keep moving. At times when I do have the ball, the offense gets real stagnant and we just stay in one spot, and that's so easy to guard if you're defending us. So it's about just moving the ball, playing the team sport and trusting everyone.

Q. Danny, you had said before The Finals, I'm going to keep shooting, I'm going to keep shooting, I'm going to keep shooting. When you started feeling it, that last stretch of the end of the third quarter, hitting the two threes within 22 seconds at the end of the period, hitting the other one, just how hot were you feeling at that point?
DANNY GREEN: Oh, I wouldn't say hot, but I was comfortable. We had a good rhythm. We had a good flow, we had a good couple stops to where we can run and get our transition or where we get some good uncontested looks. We had a few good looks, and they fell for me.

I still felt like there was a couple of opportunities that I had missed that if I was hot I usually would have made it. I had a couple of good looks after that, and maybe it was due to fatigue, but guys played hard, guys made shots, we did the little things, and at the end of the day, like he said, the board man, it's blue collar team, and these guys did all the little things we needed to do to get a win. Obviously making shots helps, but rebounding, blocks shots, Serge was amazing at running back, sprinting back. Guys were amazing rebounding. Pascal, Marc had timely buckets for us and timely rebounds for us.

Q. Danny, you were talking a lot about flow earlier. Nick was talking about pace and the importance of that. What role does Kyle Lowry play in getting you into that flow, developing that pace?
DANNY GREEN: Huge. All year that's why I love playing with the guy so much, because he's a big reason why I get so many look, him and Pascal. Them being -- him being the quarterback and Pascal being the wide receiver and he throwing that ball ahead and the defense collapse, it's kick out open looks for me. And when he's -- Kawhi obviously penetrating, attacking the basket transition, they collapse, there's some good looks for us. And in the half court set, it's a little easier to guard that and matchup.

But K-Lo's a huge I guess part of our pace and that's why he's so -- that's why he gets paid the big buck, man. He does the little things for us, even when he's not scoring. Tonight he scored well, but the biggest thing that he brings for us is that edge. He's a bulldog. He's a pit bull down there and he's going take charges, he's going to get rebounds, he's going to box people out, he's going to do the dirty work, he's a blue collar guy, and he's going to give us pace.

So as much as people like to get on him about not shooting well or not scoring, that's not really his job. We don't need him to score as much with the guys we have here, with Kawhi, Pascal, Fred, myself on the perimeter being able to shoot some, so and if he does score it's a plus for us.

But it would be great to have everybody continue to keep scoring, make it easy for us, but defensively we have to be better.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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