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May 18, 2022

Klay Thompson

Golden State Warriors

Game 1: Postgame

Warriors 112, Mavericks 87

Q. Klay, you guys had a lot of success inside the arc. How intentional were you tonight about getting the mid-range and getting to the rim?

KLAY THOMPSON: I don't think we were necessarily intentional. I think it just kind of happens because teams just kind of run us off the three-point line and this time of year, Steve always harps on it, that mid-range jump is going to be there. Andrew, Steph and I, JP, it was really working for us tonight and didn't shoot a great percentage from three but we knocked enough down to win big.

Q. How did you describe the way you played defensively? Started with Wiggins on Luka but beyond that, seems like none of their players were able to get going or get open shots. What keyed that for you guys?

KLAY THOMPSON: I think our length, and it started with Andrew. He was moving them puppies tonight. And I still take pride in my defense, no matter what people say. If I lost it or not, still think I'm a very good defender. And then Steph's in the lanes. Obviously Draymond, we can count on him every night on that side of the ball.

But I just think our ball pressure and our help defense was spectacular tonight and if we want to take care of business Friday, we'll need a similar effort.

Q. Plenty of the pre-series talk was the fact that you guys might not have anyone that could guard Luka. You seemed frustrated with where you think your reputation is defensively. How much did you follow that and is there a frustration level about that?

KLAY THOMPSON: I don't follow that and Luka is obviously one of the best players in the world. It didn't help they played two days ago, that emotional high of winning a Game 7. So we expect them to come back with a much better effort on Friday. It's just one game. We can feel good now but this team was down 2-0, and won the series last round.

So I don't really pay attention to the noise. I know what I'm capable of. I know what my teammates are capable of. I knew we were able to do this tonight. Just was going to take a lot of focus and trust in each other.

Q. What changed for you offensively in the second half?

KLAY THOMPSON: I think a couple cuts to the rim. I got a transition bucket, and that always feels good when you open up the lid and that mid-range. I'm glad I had an efficient night. I never feel good when I go home and I shoot inefficiently. I was very happy with my shooting performance tonight. You know, didn't have a field goal in the first half, but that will never discourage me. I will always hunt my shot.

Q. Obviously pre-injury, you were considered one of the top defenders in the league and Anthony just asked you a question about defense. We all know that the shooting gets most of the praise for you but are you trying to get back to that level defensively? Is that something that you strive to do coming back from that injury?

KLAY THOMPSON: Absolutely. I'm trying. It's hard. I mean, marking the best player every night for 40 minutes is not easy, and going to get buckets on the other ends, but it's something I love to do. All the best two guards to ever play the game played both sides of the ball, whether it was Mike, Kobe, D-Wade, guys I really idolized as a kid. They all competed on that side, so I just tried to follow the same mold.

Q. Watching Game 7, how much emphasis was placed on, the key to us winning the series is on the defensive end? And like what did Wiggins say or what did you say to Wiggins as you watched that game together?

KLAY THOMPSON: I don't think I said anything to Andrew. I think we just expect him to play hard every night and he just doesn't seem to get tired. Luka got some good looks tonight but I thought he did a great job on him, and great ones always bounce back. So we expect him to have a better effort Friday, as well as their whole team.

But we are going to still stay hungry and expect to play similar ball on Friday. You know, that's our identity is being able to stop teams and push the pace.

Q. You alluded to what I was going to ask you next, which is what makes Andrew a special two-way player when he is being assertive and aggressive, like he was on offense while also going up against a talent like Luka?

KLAY THOMPSON: That's why he was the No. 1 pick. You can't teach that athleticism. You can't teach that length. You can't teach his timing. I'm just happy the world is getting to see who he really is, and that's an incredible wing player, and he will be like this for the next 10 years.

Q. Just a follow-up to that one, feels like every stage that Wiggins has been on, he's upped his game. Have you noticed that and what do you think it is that he's been able to reach another notch?

KLAY THOMPSON: I think him being here, he's allowed to be himself. Luckily for all of us, don't have to shoulder the load like anything crazy because we have so many great, talented players. It could be somebody's night and the ball will find him.

But Andrew was incredible tonight. I can't say enough good things about him. He makes my job so much easier. I don't have to check the best player every night again, especially for what I've been through, it's a nice change of pace.

But he doesn't seem to get tired and his outside shot is also greatly improved, and he's just coming into his own.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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