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April 27, 2022

Draymond Green

San Francisco, California, USA

Golden State Warriors

Game 5: Postgame

Golden State Warriors 102, Denver Nuggets 98

DRAYMOND GREEN: I probably don't got much for y'all today. I'm about to go home and do my Podcast, just FYI.

Q. The Nuggets had an eight-point lead heading into that fourth quarter. From your perspective, what were the most important things you guys did?

DRAYMOND GREEN: We got stops and stopped fouling. Entire game we kept talking about it: Stop fouling. And northbound how many free throw they had through three quarters but sure had to be somewhere in the 25, 26 free throws.

Once we stopped following, was able to get the game at our pace, it looked a lot more like games 1 through 3, as opposed to Game 4.

Q. What do you think you got from Gary tonight?

DRAYMOND GREEN: He was incredible. Both ends of the floor, big shots, big plays, two huge threes. He was absolutely incredible. He's worked very, very, very hard and you know, he's finally got his opportunity. He's taken advantage of it, and it's great to see.

Q. In a game like this, they were really physical at the start to come after you guys. Looked like this is the kind of game almost suited for Gary's game to grind it up a little bit.

DRAYMOND GREEN: It is, you want to muck the game up, we've got guys like that that can play that same brand of basketball. Gary was huge tonight. But he's been that way for us all year.

Q. When you're down eight points going into the fourth quarter, a lot of fans probably think, how are they going to score to get back but the defense as you said is what changed it, and what changed about the defense in the fourth quarter besides the fouling? It seemed like you guys just took the intensity to another level.

DRAYMOND GREEN: I think we definitely took the intensity to another level. Not going to sit here and act like our coaching staff wasn't incredible about going to that box and one, that really threw their rhythm off. Once you get a team out of rhythm, then you go to your man-to-man defense, and you have a lot better chance than just guarding a team that has their rhythm. So I thought that was great by our coaching staff, and guys focused and capitalized on it.

Q. Steve talked about for three quarters, how you, Steph, Klay, guys in this situation before, forgot how tough it could be to close out a series because it has been a couple years. Did you agree with that and when did you first start feeling that momentum shift? Was it just in the fourth quarter or was it a little to close the third?

DRAYMOND GREEN: No, I think in that third quarter we went on a run and we cut it to one, and then they ended up pushing it back to eight.

But we knew right there that we had gained the traction. We had the game at the pace we wanted to get it at. Then after that all we needed to do was clean up the rebounds and once we cleaned up the rebounds, then we're able to get out and push the ball and get some easy stops and get some cross matches.

Q. Looked like a nice moment between you and Jokic postgame; two competitors kind of hugging it out, giving a ward. What was that about?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I just told him thank you for making me better. It's absolutely incredible to play against a guy like that, incredible, incredible talent. Just told him thank you for making me better. It's an honor and a pleasure to play against someone so talented and so skilled.

Usually when you have a guy that's that talented and that skilled, they are a little soft. He's far, far from soft. You know, he's an absolutely incredible player.

Q. You talked about 82-game players, 16-game players. When did you know this season Gary player, that's a playoff player?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I mean, early on in the season, you know, once he made the team, and started imposing his will on games, you just knew like all right that's a guy who is probably going to be on the floor during playoffs and most importantly, the way he defends.

You know, you need that defense in the playoffs to stop guys, to muck the game up. He gets a lot of deflections. So you just kind of knew early on once he -- like I said once he made the team and really made his mark on the team and what he was going to bring to it, you kind of knew then he would be one of those 16-game players.

Q. They had 14 offensive rebounds in the first three quarters but none in the fourth. What was the difference? Was it a size thing or anything else?

DRAYMOND GREEN: Same size we had all game and all year we kind of in the fourth quarter. I think it's just a matter of guys taking on that challenge. You know, we had a lot of rebounds bouncing to the free throw line and we weren't getting the 50/50 balls. We knew going into that fourth quarter if we were going to close this series out, we had to get the 50/50 balls and we had to rebound them and we came up with just about all of them in that fourth quarter.

Q. This your guys like first playoff series win since 2019. To do it with the guys that you've won so much with, what does it mean for you guys to get this?

DRAYMOND GREEN: Special. Like I said the other day, it feels a lot more familiar than the last two years felt. That's who we are. That's why we've had the success that we've had. We know how to win and we know how to win playoff games. We put the work in and trust in each other, and the results show in that.

Q. Over the years, you've seen how teams defend Steph. Now when he decides to get to the rim, he does whenever he wants. That wasn't always the case.

DRAYMOND GREEN: He's a lot stronger. When he's driving to the hole, what teams used to do is bump him off his path. Can't move him anymore. Once he gets his head down and he wants to get to the him he's getting there because you have to overreact to the shot. If you're not pressed up and overreacting to the shot, then he shoots, and good luck.

But once he put his head down and drive it, and he's committed to getting to the hole, he's strong enough to take those bumps and not get pushed off his path.

Q. Steve said you guys had to get back to being you guys, get back to being us. What did that mean to you?

DRAYMOND GREEN: Stop turning the ball over. Defend without fouling. That was some of the keys to the season when we came into the year, defend without fouling and cut our turnovers back.

Ten turnovers, we didn't quite defend without fouling, but we did when it mattered most and that's what was most important.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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