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May 22, 2016

Billy Donovan

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Game Three

Game 3

Oklahoma City 133 - Golden State 105

BILLY DONOVAN: Well, I thought for our team we had a lot of different guys step up and contribute. Obviously Russell and Kevin, but I thought we got great minutes from Andre [Roberson] tonight. Got great minutes from Serge. Both those guys helped. Dion played very well. I just thought tonight our team as a whole played pretty well on both ends of the floor.

Q. From the outset it seemed like both Kevin and Russ had a lot more room to operate in the pick-and-roll. What were you guys able to do from a spacing standpoint to allow those guys to play-make for you?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, we tried to do some different things to create some opportunities for Kevin and Russell, just to play a little bit more downhill. Again, I thought both of them did a really good job reading defense and making decisions. I thought our ball movement was very good. I thought we extra-passed. I thought we got everybody involved. It was good to see that.

I know when we subbed there the last six minutes of the game we were a little bit out of sorts offensively. But I thought for the most part we shot a pretty high percentage. I thought because we made good decisions with the ball.

Q. You really zipped out both third quarter and second quarter with your small lineup -- no, first quarter and second quarter with you going small. Taking Steven out and putting Dion in. What was it about that small lineup that really worked tonight, and does it give you even more confidence in this series, you beat them in Game 1 mostly with your big lineup, and now you've dominated in the game with the small lineup?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, you know, I just think because of our roster and the flexibility on our roster and the guys and just how invested they are, different series bring out different situations. Obviously we had a run there with Enes and Steven against San Antonio, and we still like that lineup. We still want to utilize that lineup. But also I felt like with Curry and Klay Thompson on the court and then Klay coming off, for us defensively, it may have been a little bit more in terms of us being able to guard. It created a little bit maybe more spacing for us on offense. We had several different ball handlers in there that could help contribute and make plays alongside Russell and Kevin. So there were some positive things. I think it gave Andre some room and space to do some things that was helpful. It gave Dion some opportunities.

So I thought that group there, to your point, it gave us a little bit of a boost in that first and second quarter than in the fourth.

Q. Steve said he thought that Draymond's kick to Steven was inadvertent. He was shocked they even went back and looked at it, and said he believes it will be rescinded as a Flagrant 1. What was your take on that play?
BILLY DONOVAN: A couple things: One, is the League is going to review those things. I think they probably look at those plays very closely. It happened, I think, last game to Steven. And I'm not here to say whether it was or was not intentional. I don't know. But obviously it's happened twice in the last two games, and that's something the League will take a look at. I'm sure they look at probably precedent or things that have happened in the past and they go through it.

I look at it more from a standpoint of what we can control. I was really, really proud of Steven just in both situations that he did not retaliate or get upset, you know, because I think it's easy to lose your emotion in a moment like that and he didn't. Steven's a tough guy. I think he's a team guy. Sometimes someone like him that doesn't necessarily draw attention to it, a lot of times maybe something like that doesn't get looked at.

Again, I'm not saying it was or wasn't intentional. I have no idea. I didn't even look up at the replay monitor. I was trying to talk to the guys. So I didn't have a really good view of the play to really comment on it. But I know it happened to Steven a couple times. Listen, it's for the League. The League's going to look at it, they make those decisions.

Q. Did you think it was a pivotal play in the game?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, I don't know. I don't know. There are a lot of plays in the game. And I think that we, at least for us, we've got to react to whatever's going on inside the game. Whether it was viewed a flagrant foul or not, whether it was their ball, we've got to play. There are going to be things that are going to happen in the game and once they happen, we've got to respond and try to react to them.

Q. Curry and Thompson shot a combined 5-for-19. How much of that was caused by your defense?
BILLY DONOVAN: You know, again, those two guys are phenomenal scorers. They're phenomenal shooters. We've seen really the last two years just incredible numbers of what those guys have done. It's really, really hard to sit here and say that our defense deserves all the credit.

He had some looks. Let's be honest. They took 23 three-point shots in the first half, and a lot of them were wide open, and the ball didn't go in the basket. Now, I thought we did a better job trying to recover and contest a little bit better, but everybody has seen those two guys make contested threes on a regular basis.

I think anytime you shoot the ball at the level they shoot it at, there's going to be times the ball doesn't go in the basket for you. But they do it at such a high rate that I think a lot of times people look at that and say, why? It's pretty prolific the way they shoot the ball.

Q. Steven Adams has been pretty banged up this entire series, but tonight do you think he reached a new level of toughness and not making a big deal out of it either?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, that's the one thing with Steven that's really remarkable. He takes a physical pounding and he's a tough kid. He's got a great pain threshold, and, again, he doesn't retaliate. He just tries to keep playing. Obviously with Draymond Green and Ezeli and Speights and Varejao, they've got some tough guys over there, too, that are physical and play hard as well.

So I think for both teams, both teams are out there physically, I think, giving it their all.

Q. (No Microphone). Do you think he'll be able to bounce back?
BILLY DONOVAN: I feel pretty good that he'll be okay. I got asked that coming out of Game 2, and he went through everything we did in practice the last few days, and I believe he'll be fine. I have no indication from the medical staff that there are any issues about him being able to respond from this.

Q. Kevin gets to the line 12 times tonight and only has one turnover. Is that the kind of game you need from him, attacking and not settling for some of those lazy passes?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, again, I think we talked about it before the game, I think sometimes when a player turns the ball over -- Kevin is a great guy. He is a great player, and he's a student of the game, and he's always trying to evolve and get better. I give him credit for the way he responded and passed the ball tonight and the decisions and things that he did. He was attacking. He was playing downhill. He was playing to the basket. He got to the free-throw line. He was really efficient tonight.

But again, he did the same thing in Game 2. He had 23 at the half tonight; 23 at the half the other night. The biggest thing was I thought our effort and energy and rebounding and defending was much better tonight than it was in Game 2.

Q. What's this year meant to you personally with this being your first year in the NBA and you're two wins away from possibly the NBA Finals? It looks like the players are really responding to you well and you've built a really good culture here. What's it been like for you personally?
BILLY DONOVAN: I really believe that it's the people that make the experience enjoyable. That was probably my number one concern coming here not knowing anybody and getting a chance to spend some time with Sam in that process and listening to him talk about the people inside the organization. I trusted Sam and believed what Sam had to say, and I believe everything he said was 100% the truth.

The best part of being here, because you leave a place for 19 years when you have these deep rooted relationships, you're walking into an environment and you have no relationship, zero, not with one player, not with anybody there. But because of the people in the building, because of the players, for me personally relationship-wise, it's been a smooth transition because there are such good people inside the organization.

Q. What's the difference you saw between Kevin tonight and from the first couple games as to the reason he was able to cut down on those turnovers?
BILLY DONOVAN: Yeah, sometimes I think people are trying to overanalyze the turnovers. I think I said earlier it's not like there are three guys hanging on him and he's got nowhere to pass the basketball. It really was a matter of him being a little bit more intentional, a little crisper, a little sharper with his passing, and he was that way tonight. That's really what happened. I think some of the turnovers he had last game, I think when he went back and looked at them and we talked about them, I think he realized that I can get this correct, and I can get this resolved and I can do a better job with the ball. And he did tonight.

Again, it's not like he's out there and he's got three guys on him at half court. There's going to be times when you drive the basketball and you're going to be in traffic and crowd and you've got to make good decisions. I give him credit, you know. When someone turns the ball over eight times, a lot of his is on passing. He's really trying to pass the basketball. Sometimes people talk about him shooting out of double teams and shooting -- he doesn't do that. He tries to really play the right way. When you're trying to play the right way and doing what he's trying to do, you're going to have a turnover game like he had. But I give him credit for responding and bouncing back the way he did tonight.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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