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June 7, 2019

Kawhi Leonard

Oakland, California - Postgame 4

Raptors - 105, Warriors - 92

Q. A lot of injuries on both sides after playing so many games. How do you manage to maximize your performance while playing through pain? Do you need to do something specific before as a warmup or after the game to feel better?
KAWHI LEONARD: Yeah, for sure. You do your warm up, get treatment before the game, off days after the game, whatever, that can help speed your recovery up so you're able to play the next day.

Q. Obviously you guys are effective offensively, but your defense is really what obviously shined tonight. 2004 Pistons come to mind. 2014 Spurs also come to mind. You were obviously with Danny on that team. Can you just describe the differences between the team in 2014 that you were on with Danny and this one, defensively?
KAWHI LEONARD: We're playing two different teams, and I think we're a lot younger, we can switch pretty much if Serge is in the lineup 1 through 5 and, I don't know, I mean, it's hard to say. I got to watch film and see what I see.

But for the most part, that's what pretty much sticks out. We're probably a little bit longer, a little bit more athletic and able to switch like 1 through 5.

Q. Could you talk about that first quarter. Your teammates were struggling a little bit with their shot, you were more aggressive from that first quarter, trying to keep you guys in the game. Is that something as kind of a leader of the team you got a feeling that you didn't want it to get away from you on the road and that's how you decide to come out and attack that?
KAWHI LEONARD: Yeah, I mean, at the same time I knew I had faith that it was going to turn around for us. We were missing a lot of wide-open shots. Obviously I was getting to my spots and shooting the ball, but like you said, as the quarter went on towards, the last four, five minutes, I tried to stay as aggressive as possible, get to my spots, be confident, shoot the basketball. And within that first quarter, I still was passing the ball. I wanted my teammates to stay in a rhythm and know that I'm going to give them the ball when they're open.

Q. You win three games out of four against a team that was mentioned when we talk about best dynasty ever. What makes you better than them so far?
KAWHI LEONARD: It's not over yet, so I can't say that we're better. Just the key to tonight's win was pretty much, as you guys know, playing defense. And towards that second half we started to make some shots, and we just pretty much stuck into the game, stayed in the game.

Q. What have you seen constantly in your team that has made the difference, three times out of four, like, I don't know, your determination, your ability to defend or whatnot?
KAWHI LEONARD: I pretty much just said it, our defense and willing to stay in the game, have faith, not put our head down, knowing that we're going to make shots. And that's pretty much what happened tonight.

Q. You obviously had an explosive third quarter, and so did your team. I'm just curious what was said during halftime.
KAWHI LEONARD: Nothing, really. We were confident. We're on the road, down four, we wanted to come in and have a good third quarter coming out the first five minutes, stay aggressive on both end of the floor, keep our energy up. And that's all we did.

Q. Further to that, this isn't a team that gets outscored by 16, especially on the break. They're a good third quarter team. How do you think you guys were able to keep your foot on the gas pedal throughout to limit them and to score the way you did?
KAWHI LEONARD: Obviously just stay focused on Klay and Steph, just try and make sure they don't get in too good of a rhythm. They're great players, just try to make sure we contest them as much as possible.

And then on the other end just come down and try to have some ball movement, some flow, some pace, and just make hard cuts and just believe, stay confident in your shot, and that's what happened.

Q. Your staying in the moment's kind of been your theme all season, but you are one game away from a NBA title. Does that sort of make it a little more difficult to stay in the moment, and how do you feel about that going into Game 5?
KAWHI LEONARD: You just got to be patient with it. Not really. We were two games away, four games away, it doesn't matter until you get that fourth win. We just have to stay confident in ourselves, be patient, don't try to rush things, and see how it plays out.

Q. It appeared you guys had some problems when they switched up straight up instead of when they went and double teamed you guys, whether it was you or Kyle. Were you surprised they were not switching more, especially that fourth quarter, just trying to double you up like the pass you had for Danny when Steph helped off the strong side corner?
KAWHI LEONARD: You're saying was I surprised they didn't switch more and not double? No, I thought we played well on the switches. They put the bigs on the guards, and we attacked and made passes and we made shots or drove and found somebody under the rim.

No, not really. I didn't think of it like that. We just kept playing the game and read and react.

Q. You guys were able to stay level headed and composed throughout the season, and how were you able to do that and how did it affect the shape of the team?
KAWHI LEONARD: I mean, just like just going through the season, having our ups and downs, our experiences as a team, having bad streaks of losing or winning, just within our huddle. We just take those experiences and keep moving and learn from them and just all talk to each other, really, and just keep our mindset on one goal.

Q. If the Raptors win the NBA title, what do you think this will mean for Canada and the Toronto Raptors? You've already won with the San Antonio Spurs. You've seen the way it impacted that community. What do you think this will do for Canada?
KAWHI LEONARD: I'm really not sure. I guess you really would have to ask somebody on the street or one of our fans. I'm pretty sure it's a long time waiting. They're going to be excited. I mean, they're already excited just as us just being here for the first time. They're going crazy after the Eastern Conference Finals and -- I don't know, there's no telling. You got to ask probably, like I said, a fan or somebody that's in Canada, been living in Canada for a while. But I know they're going to be super excited. I don't know. We'll see.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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