Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr
Q. The Blazers back court, the 75 on Sunday, today you guys hold them to 23. What was the key to slowing those guys down?
STEVE KERR: Well, I mean, sometimes shots go in, sometimes they don’t. So we’re not going to take credit for their missed shots. They missed some open ones that they hit in Game 1. But I think in general our defense was excellent tonight. We put a lot of pressure on them, and we stayed with it and set a good tone right away. I mean, we held them to 17 in the first quarter. So got off to a great start, and our defense was the key.
Q. Coach, JaVale McGee the last two games he’s ten for 11 from the floor. Took about five blocked shots in 23 minutes. But tonight he really was a factor. But could you talk about him, because he’s making every split second count?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, well, his energy’s great. His length, his ability to catch that lob and be a presence around the rim. You know, there is a lot of interesting match-ups out there. Obviously, without Nurkic, they’re basically playing smaller lineups. So you know, we’re just trying to mix and match at that five spot and find the right combination.
JaVale has given us great minutes in that role, and playing with that athleticism and energy, he’s still able to cover their smaller players and be a force around the rim offensively.
Q. (Indiscernible) is that kind of like the game play?
STEVE KERR: It always is. I mean, everybody knows that. Around the league, JaVale is as good as anybody going to catch that lob. Even if he doesn’t get it, he’s a threat, and you force the defense to react. Our guys made some good passes to them tonight.
Q. What were you guys able to do coming out in the third quarter to keep the momentum going?
STEVE KERR: Well, we settled down. I thought the reason the game got close in the second quarter was they made a great push. Our offense got scattered. We were rushing everything. We were just not poised offensively, and that put our defense in a bad position and they took advantage. They got some transition hoops and really came after us. I thought in the third quarter we settled our offense down which helped our defense.
Q. With about four minutes left in the second quarter, you called a timeout. After that moment Patrick McCaw looked like he was playing with a lot more confidence. Was there a message for him there or was that purely coincidence?
STEVE KERR: Total coincidence, but I’ll take credit for it if you told me. I told him, Patrick, go play well, and he played well.
Q. Have you ever seen Klay Thompson rise up and block a shot at the rim like that?
STEVE KERR: It was impressive. I don’t think I have seen that. He timed it perfectly. Yeah, that was an incredible play.
Q. McCaw had big shoes to wear let alone fill. What did you like about his game tonight?
STEVE KERR: The thing that I liked was the fact that he was unafraid. He’s a rookie. He barely played in Game 1, and K.D. comes back, and he’s probably not going to play a whole lot. But the fact that he stayed prepared, stayed ready, and really defended well, I thought his defense was excellent. We asked him to guard Lillard and McCollum a little bit, and he did a really nice job.
Q. Does 2-0 as opposed to 1-1 factor into your decision at all about what to do with Kevin in the next game?
STEVE KERR: It could. We’ll have to talk to Kevin and the training staff to see how he’s doing. We’re fortunate that we’ve got the next couple games or next couple days off. If he’s ready to play, he’s going to play. But if there’s any question, then we won’t play him. We’ve got to get him healthy.
Q. Just talk about the contributions you got across the board tonight with the three guys out.
STEVE KERR: Well, the bench was great. Scored a lot of points, really came through for us. I thought Andre was tremendous pushing the ball, and David West made some great passes to Ian. You know, I thought we talked about JaVale a little bit. He made a huge impact. So we feel like we have a very deep team and we needed that tonight. We needed every guy, and they came through.
Q. With Durant out of the lineup, do you have to make defense an emphasis or is this something the players just understand on their own?
STEVE KERR: No, they understand it on their own. They know that that’s what our team is built on. People want to talk about the shooting in the back court and all that stuff, but this has been a great defensive team for a while. Since before I got here they were a great defensive team, which has really been the hallmark of this club for the last five years.
You’ve got to defend, especially in the Playoffs. You’ve got to be able to defend because you’re constantly running into great players. So our guys understand that’s the name of the game.
Q. You’ve got 33 points out of your three big men. How important and how big was that given that Klay and Steph struggled to against their offense going?
STEVE KERR: Zaza got us off to a really good start claude. He made a big impact and then JaVale came in and followed that up with high energy. It was a weird first half. We went into halftime up nine without Steph and Klay really shooting the ball well. So I thought it was a good time.
As I mentioned, I thought the main thing was we had to settle down offensively and not be in such a rush. We were taking some really tough shots and turning the ball over. But our big guys and our bench really did a nice job of helping us gain control of the game.
Warriors Forward Draymond Green & Center JaVale McGee
Q. Draymond, you obviously knew with Durant out you needed some other guys stepping forward. How would you describe JaVale’s game tonight?
DRAYMOND GREEN: It’s kind of awkward with him sitting right here. No, it was amazing, the energy that he brought off the bench, obviously, it showed up in the points. With him being there live right at the rim for us, it was kind of like a bail out. You get it in trouble, and he goes to the rim and goes to get it.
It was more than that. It was offensive rebounds. It was a great post move. It was the blocks. It was the defense and the pick-and-roll coverage. I mean, he was amazing all over the court for us tonight. It gave us a huge lift off the bench.
Q. I wanted to ask you about Patrick McCaw. Stepping into Durant’s position, also had to do a little bit with Shaun Livingston too. You looked pretty excited when he drove the key for that one lay-up and was barking for a foul. Could you talk about his performance?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I actually thought he was blocking on CJ, that’s why I was so excited. It’s actually the first time I’ve ever seen him show any emotion though, so that was pretty good, I thought.
But he was great tonight. He shot the ball when he had shots. He drove closeouts hard and got to the paint. He used his athleticism. He was great on the defensive end. Pat’s one of those guys where he doesn’t show that he’s overly confident, because he’ll never say anything, but he’s one of those guys that you don’t have to instill confidence in. You feel like, oh, it’s the NBA. I’m here. I should be here and, I want to do what I do.
It’s a great thing. He stepped in great for us. He was big for us tonight. Obviously, you don’t expect him to come in and beat Kevin Durant. But he came in was solid, made plays for ourselves, made plays for others, and he got a lot of deflections on the defensive end which was key also.
Q. JaVale, Lillard was just in here and said we cannot let him impact the game the way he did. How much pride do you take in the way you’re contributing on both ends right now? You guys going up there with a 2-0 lead?
JAVALE McGEE: I mean, I took a lot of pride in it. We’ve really been harping on taking our defense, and I’ve really been trying to step up on that. So I feel like we did a great job tonight. I feel like we have to continue to do that, especially in games 3 and 4.
Q. JaVale, can you just talk about your efficiency? Obviously, seven of seven tonight. Do you feel like you’re feeling this offense as good as you have all season right now?
JAVALE McGEE: Yeah, definitely. That’s my whole thing. I just try to be efficient out there. I don’t try to do too much. I just try to do what’s necessary for me in the minutes that I’m out there, and I feel like I’m doing a good job at that.
Q. Draymond, did you ever think that you’d see Klay Thompson rise up for a block at the rim like that?
DRAYMOND GREEN: No. It was pretty amazing though. For him to go vertical and then just block the shot like that was a pretty monstrous block. You know, it was fitting that he got a three at the end. That’s what Klay’s all about. He’s about getting his shots up. But he made the defensive play, and he was rewarded on the other end. But it was definitely an amazing block. He snuck over to help.
Good thing about that block was Klay blocked it, but if he didn’t, JaVale was about to block it, so it was a pretty unique play.
Q. After that second quarter foul by Meyers Leonard. It looked like you were telling officials, if that had been mow, me it would have been a flagrant foul. What was your message there on the line?
DRAYMOND GREEN: You heard it perfectly, brother. Maybe a two, but it’s okay. Life goes on.
Q. Draymond, CJ and Damian just got 23 points. What did you do for defense?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Just not let them get in their comfort zone. When you let them come out and get easy things from the beginning, they get into rhythm. They’re just as tough to stop as anybody in the league. But we came out from the jump. We were up on the pick-and-roll, started out with Zaza, we didn’t let them get to the left-hand as much as they wanted to, as much as we did in the first Game 1. And they fought us from the beginning. As opposed to all of a sudden third quarter, then you start to apply more pressure. We did it from the jump tonight. It had an effect on them. I think they were a little tired from Game 1.
They both exhausted a lot of energy, but that’s the series. You’ve got to give our guards a lot of credit, our bigs a lot of credit on what did to stop those guys. You can’t expect them to hold them to 23 points every night, but you can’t give them 75 either. So it will probably be somewhere in the middle of that, and that’s fine. But we’ve just got to keep trying to make it tough on them.
Q. JaVale, you come from a strong blood line of basketball players. Your dad, George Montgomery played for University of Illinois, and your mom was a coach at Sacramento High before you went off to UNR, could you talk a little bit about that? Was that an incentive or kind of put a chip on your shoulder that you want to keep that tradition going?
JAVALE McGEE: Yeah, definitely. I basically have a basketball family, so it was just instilled in me. Basketball is basically all we know. I feel like that’s what we need to do to be able to be a part of the McGee family, you’ve got to be athletic, and you’ve got to be running the floor. You’ve got to be doing something. My sister’s 6’7″ and she can dunk. So it’s just crazy. It’s just in my family to play basketball.
JAVALE McGEE: My mother definitely was still hard working me, especially on the basketball. I think it was sixth grade, and I had a bad game. She had me up at 6:00 a.m. running around, running around in the snow and boots, like working out. It was like it’s sixth grade. What are we doing right now? But it worked, obviously.
Q. JaVale, you talked about stepping up on pick-and-rolls earlier. I’m wondering what coaches and players have been helpful for your defense this season?
JAVALE McGEE: I like Ron Adams, he really harps on the pick-and-roll and defensive strategy. So shout out to Ron Adams.
Q. Draymond, people talk about you and K.D. and Steph and Klay as All-Stars. But on a night like tonight when the offense is coming and going, what’s it mean to have 33 points from JaVale, and Zaza, and David off the bench, the bigs?
DRAYMOND GREEN: It means a lot. A lot of people do talk about the four of us. But one thing that’s constant in this organization is everybody. The strength in the numbers. You know, the depth that we rely on so heavily throughout the course of the year and through the Playoffs, and it’s showing up tonight.
Steph didn’t have a huge game. I didn’t have a huge game. Klay didn’t have a huge game, yet we were able to put the game together that we did tonight. You know, it’s a testament to that depth. We won almost by 30 points without anyone having a huge game. But everybody did a little bit of something. That’s especially important with K.D. out. He’s such an important and huge force for us.
On the offense and defensive end, especially the offensive end, when he goes out, you usually always say, oh, man, Steph’s going to have 30, and Klay’s going to have 30. But that didn’t happen tonight, but all the other guys stepped up. Everybody contributed to this win. It’s great to be able to win games like that.
Sometimes stars don’t have big games and it’s tough to win. That’s one thing that with our team we always say no matter what, we can go out there and get a win, and it showed tonight.
Q. What were you thinking when you heard for sure that Durant wasn’t going to play tonight? Do you think you sent a message to Portland or the rest of the league that you can win a game by 29 with Durant out and some of the other stars not having a huge night?
DRAYMOND GREEN: No, I don’t think it sends much of a message. One thing we know is it’s one game. That doesn’t say much to Portland. They beat us in Game 2 without K.D. They’re still going to come out and play hard in Game 3 and give all they’ve got, whether we have K.D. or not, and that’s for everybody else in the league.
At the same time, it’s a confidence booster for us to be able to go out there and win like that without him. We don’t plan on being without him for long. But at at the same time, things do happen, like the calf. And, you know, he goes down or anyone else, other guys got to be ready to step up and contribute. That was the game tonight, everybody stepped up and contributed and we were able to win the way we did.
Q. Draymond, you led the team with 10 assists. You guys had another game over 30 assists. Is it something with you from the forward position where you have a little more advantage being able to get the ball around to your teammates?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I mean, yeah, I think that definitely helps our team. It helps the flow of our offense. But at the same time guys still got to make shots. We had guys knocking shots down, and you just try to get them the ball in the position where they’re going to be successful, and they’ve got to do the rest. One thing we preach is ball movement and player movement. Guys are flying around and cutting, and it’s whoever, not just myself, but whoever has the ball, it’s your job to find him and try to help them be in a position to get the bucket.
Warriors Guard Stephen Curry
Q. Steph, you know Durant’s out. Is it you’ve got to have a huge game? Is that a conversation you guys have or is it just it doesn’t matter, just figure out a way to win? What’s the mentality going into this?
STEPHEN CURRY: You’ve got to be aggressive. Obviously you’re missing 25 points, 26 points at the lineup. So the shot is available you kind of do it a different way. But tonight we didn’t really get it going much or consistently throughout the game. We had some dry spots, but we won the game with our defense tonight.
When you’re missing 26 points, that’s the best way to put yourself in position to maintain that level of play and get wins is with our defensive focus and intensity. In the first quarter we really asserted ourselves and that set the tone for the game, despite the few mini runs that they had, we kind of owned that side of the floor tonight.
Q. JaVale came in off the bench, he gets three alley-oops, two assisted by you and one by Draymond. Can you talk about what type of player he is? Coming here and doing it in limited minutes? Doing 23 total minutes in two games. Talk about what type of athlete he is, and how special he is to the Warriors right now?
STEPHEN CURRY: He’s a professional. Doesn’t matter if he’s playing 13 minutes or 5 minutes, he comes in with the same effort and energy whenever he steps on the floor. It gives us a different dynamic. He puts pressure on the rim on offense, and he protects the rim on defense. You can always count on him playing hard. That was the best attribute about him.
When he’s out there, he’s locked in and he’s giving effort. In the play last game where he sprints full court after a block and gets a loose rebound. I get the three off of it, and just little plays that he can change the momentum of games on both ends of the floor, it’s huge for us.
Q. You guys seem to have a lot of fun on the court with JaVale. Is that something about him that brings kind of a video game quality to the game?
STEPHEN CURRY: You need to roll into the paint and he’s able to get his feet set and take off and throw it anywhere and catch it. That’s always a fun way to play. Sometimes we kind of get caught up in looking for him sometimes too much when he’s not open, just because we feel like he can do something spectacular above the rim. When he can electrify the crowd with a huge block and the alley-oop dunks and things like that, it’s just a different dynamic that we love to have.
Q. On a night like tonight when you and Klay and Draymond really don’t find your offense the way you normally do, how big is it to have 33 points from your bigs like Zaza. I think Zaza, JaVale, and David combined for three points to get to that position?
STEPHEN CURRY: It’s big. You want to try to promote ball movement when they get the play on their hands and the post and finish plays in the paint, you know, it helps us out a huge amount. We didn’t have our three-ballgame rolling well at all the entire game. When they can put pressure on the defense, especially with the lines out there at times, that’s a huge advantage for us. They make them pay.
We figured out when the ball is moving, we can get paint touches and get those guys finishing at the rim, and making plays in post situations, it just gives us an extra boost.
Q. Steph, you were in the locker room in the fourth quarter. Was it anything that you had to work out? What was going on there?
STEPHEN CURRY: When I did what?
Q. When you went in the locker room. I think it was with Chelsea?
STEPHEN CURRY: Oh, nothing. Just getting an extra pad for my hip. That’s it.
Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts
Q. What is the difference in the start of the third quarter that they were able to do to kind of take you guys out?
TERRY STOTTS: They’re the best third quarter team in the league. You get down nine and, I think, I always think a lot of great teams really know how to turn up the screws in the third quarter and take a ten-point lead or nine-point lead and get it to 15 or whatever and make it a more difficult game, and that’s what they did. We didn’t finish a couple baskets, they converted right away, and the lead went from 9 to 16 pretty quickly.
Q. Was it more the Warriors defense tonight or were you guys just off?
TERRY STOTTS: It’s usually a combination of both. I give them credit. They were good defensively, but I thought in the first quarter, in particular, we got to the rim a lot. Didn’t finish around the basket. Obviously, we didn’t shoot the three well.
As I said when we started the series, need we need to score. So give them credit for playing well defensively, but I certainly know we can play better offense than we did.
Q. How do you try to stop the JaVale McGee lob game when they’ve got so many shooters out there? It seems like it’s been really effective?
TERRY STOTTS: Well, we wanted to switch it a little bit more than we did. We didn’t communicate the switches well, but it’s a challenge. Because when you have a guy like Steph or Klay coming off, you’ve got to get up and guard them and not let the big get behind you if you’re going to drop on them. So they do that very well, we didn’t obviously cover it the way we wanted to.
Trail Blazers Guard Damian Lillard
Q. Damian, when you were watching in the fourth quarter watching, what was going through your mind at that point?
DAMIAN LILLARD: At first I was thinking to myself how we played such a great Game 1, and we gave ourselves a great chance to start with but we didn’t play a great game in the first half. You think you give yourself an opportunity in the third quarter to make up some ground. We were only down eight. We allowed them to create a little more distance, and when a team like them gets going offensively, and you’re not as acute on your offensive end, it’s going to be an uphill battle.
They got away from us. We made it hard on ourselves. But after I thought about that, I reminded myself that it’s a series and points are don’t carry over. So you can’t get too emotional or too low about the kind of game we had tonight.
Q. Damian, do you feel this was an opportunity missed with K.D. being out?
DAMIAN LILLARD: I mean, obviously they’re a better team with him on the floor. More talent and more weapons. But they were a championship team before he got here. So we didn’t look at it as an opportunity of him not being on the floor. We knew it was going to be tough either way. Coming here the first two games, we just wanted to take one. We didn’t do that.
So at the end of the day, they did what they needed to do and take care of them homecourt. We still have two games on our homecourt, so we’ve just got to try to lock in and go try to do the same thing.
Q. Damian, you and CJ were 9 for 34 from the floor. What were they actually doing to keep you guys from knocking the ball down? Or was it just a combination of the ball just wasn’t going in for you guys tonight?
DAMIAN LILLARD: I think it was a little bit of both. I think they defended really similar to the way they did in Game one. If not a little bit more help, I felt like we were both surrounded by two and three guys each time we got past our defender. And we know that’s how they’re going to try to defend us. They’re going to make it hard on us.
Game 1 we made a lot of tough shots and those shots don’t always go in. So tonight they put us in that position, and you get shots that usually do go in, and you worked so hard all night that maybe those don’t go in, and you end up shoot page the way we shot tonight.
But I says after the first game, the more aggressive team is going to get the benefit of the doubt. I thought they played a more aggressive game at the end of the floor. So they got away with a lot. They were able to play really physical, and it went into their favor.
Q. Damian, when you see them throwing lobs to their big guys and all their big guys scoring, you have to think about what the series would be like if Nurkic was playing. Do you think about that?
DAMIAN LILLARD: You don’t have time to think about that. If you look at a guy and say, man, if we had Nurk, it would be different. We’d be down 20 by the time they turn their head back around. Obviously, we’re a better team with him on the floor. But we’ve come into this series with coverages and schemes and things like that to handle that so we don’t have that problem. And we’ve got to be better executing in those situations, so it doesn’t hurt us.
We can’t allow JaVale McGee to come in and impact the game the way he has. We’ve seen him play a number of games, and he has his moments, but he’s not coming in doing what he’s been doing in these first two games. We’ve got to try to limit that if we want a chance to win games.
Q. How would you describe Game 3 or the importance of Game 3 with where you’re at going into that?
DAMIAN LILLARD: We’ve got to have this one. You don’t want to go home and drop this one and then, you know, even if you do win a Game 4, you’re coming back here looking at elimination. So, like I said, they took care of their home floor. We play really well on our home floor. We know that we’re capable of beating them. So going forward, we want to go and get Game 3. That’s all we can focus on right now.