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Q. Were you at all surprised with the fact that Golden State went small ball today? And, secondly, Gregg Popovich related or said that The Finals for him were torture. Can you relate to that?
They had to make an adjustment, obviously, because the games, all three of them, were going our way. We had won two of them and they made a decision to go the way that they went. Obviously in the first few minutes we handled it. After that, less so. I don't think that was the main thing in the game, to be honest with you.
You said that Coach Popovich said that The Finals are torture?
Q. He was asked if he enjoyed The Finals, and he said, No, it's torture. Can you relate to that?
Well, if you know Coach Popovich, he's got a great and clever sense of humor. So I'd have to ask him directly what he meant by that because that could go any way. I'm not really sure. I'll talk to him about it.
Q. The non calls in the first quarter that you weren't getting, it seemed to affect your players. They seemed to be bickering a little bit at the officials. Can you talk a little bit about that?
You know I can't (smiling).
Q. Were you concerned that your players were affected by it in a negative way, and do you think it had an impact on the way they played in the first quarter?
The game is such that the guys react to things. It's human nature. And I wouldn't point to that as any particular reason why we didn't play as well as we have.
Q. Did you sense that your team was a little bit tired tonight?
Yes. Tonight was the third game in five days, including the trip back from the West Coast, and it seemed to have an impact on us, yes.
Q. Could you talk about what they did, what you saw that they might have done differently defending LeBron? Steve Kerr said he didn't think they really did much different, but it seemed like they kind of shaded a second guy over toward him more often, especially when he got into the lane?
A little bit more, yes. But they didn't play him significantly different. I think we were a little bit slower into our sets, and I think we didn't always get him the ball in great spots, and that made it a little bit more arduous for him to get into position to score the ball.
I think also the fact that we didn't make shots tonight from outside, that really had an impact on his ability to find seams and to score the ball. Because there is a dynamic to that. When you're constantly, constantly on the defensive end, it's just like in football with possession time. When your defense is on the field all the time, you know you're in trouble.
And we couldn't get the ball down. You're 4 for 27 from three in a game where our big guys did score the ball. You could say, well, you shot poorly because they really protected the three point line and they kept you from scoring. Our big guys scored, I don't know what percentage, but probably 60, 70 percent in the paint.
We didn't make shots. And that put a little bit more pressure on him, too, because he was passing the ball, and the normal shots that we make in that situation, we didn't.
Q. How's his head?
I hope he's okay. I don't think he had any kind of he didn't have like a serious hit to the head. It was more of a cut, obviously. I'm sure he's fine, knowing him.
Q. Coach, did you get what you expected out of Dellavedova tonight?
He played his heart out, like he always does. He'll tell you differently. I don't think he was a hundred percent, but he gave us a hundred percent of what he had. Listen, it's not easy for anybody to be great every day. He wasn't the only one that wasn't great, including myself, but he wanted to play and he wanted to win. Some days just don't turn out the way you want them to.
Q. The previous game LeBron went out in the start of the fourth quarter, and you lost the stretch. Tonight he went away in the start of the fourth quarter, and you lost the stretch. So obviously he has to sit sometimes, but how do you guys how are you going to sort this thing out?
Well, that's a fact, and that's true what you said. It's also a fact that he's a human being, and I've got to give him a minute here or there. If I don't, I'm really going to put him under more duress than he already is.
When he is out, everyone else has got to step up and give a little bit more. We're thinner now than we were, but that's not an excuse. We haven't used it as an excuse yet, and we won't start now. We've just all got to pick it up.
Q. If you can point out what went wrong tonight and what can be fixed for the next game, and, if possible, what can you tell all the people that again woke up in the middle of the night in Israel?
That's a hell of a thing to have on your conscience all the time. I don't know how you people feel. But when I've got 7 million people waking up and then feeling bad all day because we didn't win, that's a heck of a thing to carry around all day. And he's going to be the first one to remind me of that, which is a very typical thing of the Israeli media, if you haven't noticed.
Well, I said before, we didn't shoot the ball well, and obviously Golden State made some adjustments. They did a good job tonight. Got to give credit where credit is due.
We're in a three game series for the NBA Finals. Six months ago I would have bought that. We've got to go back to the drawing board, go back to work, continue to believe in ourselves, play the best basketball we can, and try to win this thing.
Q. You had a phenomenal night inside, scoring virtually at will, in fact the points in the paint piled up. Yet it did not free up the perimeter opportunities for the Cavs. Was it a combination of just more of a harassing defense on the part of the Warriors tonight, or, as Coach Blatt said, was the team a bit tired, a bit exhausted from the three games in five nights and the travel? Or a combination?
That's a long question. Can you repeat, please?
Q. The success you had in the paint, scoring at will really set the tempo for the Cavs in terms of your ability to roll up the points. But it did not essentially open up the perimeter game. Was that a factor to the Warriors relentless defense, or was it also somewhat of a reflection of the fatigue, a little exhaustion, three games in five nights as Coach Blatt said?
We played like seven guys, but it's all that we have, and we can't ask for something different. I just can't say. Maybe guys are tired, maybe not.
But we're going to watch some film, do some work on mistakes and see what we can do on the perimeter, and inside, outside, whatever. Whatever it takes.
Q. Defensively tonight were they able to exploit anything you guys were doing or not executing? Did they learn something through the first three games, or did you guys just have a bad game defensively?
It's hard to say. We all played as hard as we can, that's what I can say. Like you said, they scored a lot of points. It was not a game like I think we can play better defense. I don't know what it was or it was not enough energy on the defensive end or if it was just bad defense, or they do something different with a small lineup.
So, like I said, it's a lot of work tomorrow and after tomorrow to see how we can be better on defense, both in energy and game plan for everyone.
Q. They seemed to be able to get to the basket a lot easier tonight than they did in previous games. What was different tonight?
It's what I said, maybe it's a small lineup. It's, for me personally, a little bit different. I need to learn how to play with a small lineup if Coach wants me on the court. So this is what I say, we're going to see. We're going to see what we can do better.
Q. Was it that they were maybe moving a little too quick? That you were uncomfortable? What was going on?
I always want to stay in the paint and protect the paint. But like I said, they played a small lineup. They tried the stretch defense, whatever they're doing. Like I say, we've got three more games, and we all have to learn something from this game and move to the next game.
Q. What you were talking about, you got switched out on Andre Iguodala a number of times and he was standing out at the three. Could you tell me about your thought process and what you had to think about, because you didn't really fully go out there and challenge him, and he ended up draining a couple on you, though you had a great offensive night.
You know, Andre's a good player, but we all know he's not the best shooter on their team. But he's really good in driving and kicking out whatever they do. So I just tried to take his strengths away when I got him. I don't want to let him beat me on a drive. I tried to be late contest when he shot, so that's it.
Q. You started to touch on this a little bit. Were you finding it much more difficult to protect the paint in the rim when they were driving in because you had so much more ground to cover? You were out covering guys and had to stick with guys farther out on the perimeter than you did with Bogut.
What is the question?
Q. Was it harder for you to get into the paint and protect?
Yeah, yeah, like I said. They move a lot with their small lineup. They don't stay. I've got to move too, but it's not about how you move. It's about how you read. You've got to like I said, you've got to learn. You've got to learn, and I have to be better. We all have to be better.
Q. You've talked all series about being undermanned and overmatched. So tonight Golden State comes out. They make an adjustment with their starting lineup. They feel like they've changed the pace. Are you, as a team, in a position where you can make an adjustment, or are you confined to just go with what you have?
We don't have many options as far as lineups we can go to, but we can make adjustments. That's what you do throughout a series. We'll get to the film and make the necessary adjustments coming into Game 5. But as far as lineup changes, we don't have many different lineup changes we can actually go to.
Q. When you went down and hit your head, one, how are you feeling now? Two, did you think that you'd have to go through any sort of concussion test or anything like that at the time?
I was just trying to regain my composure, and I was holding my head. It was hurting. I was just hoping I wasn't bleeding. But obviously the camera cut me pretty bad. Our medical staff did a great job of stopping the bleeding.
I knew I had to shoot the free throws or I wasn't going to be able to come back into the game, so it didn't matter what was going on with my head at that point in time. I had to go up there and shoot those free throws so I could continue to play.
Q. LeBron, you mentioned you guys don't have a lot of lineups you can go to right now. But when a guy like J.R. Smith is struggling how he is, how difficult how much pressure does that put on everybody else? And what can you do or what can you say to try to help him through this?
I don't put too much pressure on anyone else. You continue to stick with them. We all struggle at times. We all have a couple games here, a couple games there we won't play so well. We know we can help the team, but just not falling for us.
But you don't give up on anyone. We all got to this point together, and you stick with them. He's been huge for our team all year. We wouldn't be at this point without him. So hopefully he can get it going, which we believe.
Q. In the fourth quarter after you guys had cut that 12 point halftime deficit down to six, you're out of the game for the first couple minutes and they put you back to double digits. What goes through your mind there? Do you feel like you can't even come out of the game?
Oh, well, I was hoping our team could buy me a few minutes. I ran through those 12 minutes in the third, and I gassed out. Just tried to put us in a position Steph hit a big time three at the end of the third, put them up six, I missed one, but I was pretty much gassed either from driving, creating opportunities for my teammates, getting to the free throw line, getting offensive glass, just trying to make that push.
And I was hoping our team could just buy me a couple minutes. We weren't able to do that tonight in the fourth quarter, and, I mean, it's difficult. You want to be out there, but also you don't want to be you want to be effective while you're out there too. So they made a huge run, and we just couldn't regather after that.
Q. Just to follow up on that, the coach talked about how he felt maybe the schedule was really starting to fatigue the side. Can you talk to that? And also I've got to ask you specifically about the man earlier in the week, Delly, do you think his hospital visit had an impact on his performance tonight?
No, I mean, no excuses. The schedule is what it is. We knew that coming into the series. We knew it was going to be every other day when we got home, and those guys were going to have two days in between when they went home. But I think defensively we were still very good. Offensively we were terrible. You can't always you can't always bank on your offense. Sometimes your offense just doesn't show up, and there is no way we go 4 for 27 from the three point line and expect to win.
We outrebounded them still. We had 16 offensive rebounds. We had 20 second chance points. But we just couldn't get the long ball going tonight, and that definitely hurt our offense hurt us just as bad as anything.
As far as Delly, I think Delly said he felt great. We thought he was great. He just didn't make shots, and that's what happens sometimes.
Q. LeBron, they talk about you getting stitches or anything like that? Is that a possibility? Two, do you think you guys are going to have to go deeper on the bench and play more guys just to you guys kind of looked like your legs were heavy tonight.
Well, I already got the stitches. Obviously, you can't see them. That's the coach's decision if he decides he wants to go deeper in the bench. We haven't played many guys throughout this playoff run. I think it would help some of the guys that are playing some high minutes for sure. Just give guys a couple minutes here, a couple minutes there. But I think the coaching staff will try to do what's best to help us be physically and mentally prepared for Sunday.
Q. How many stitches?
Enough to close it up.
Q. Steve Kerr said Iguodala has been his best player in this series. This was the first game he started all season long. What did you think his impact was tonight?
He's one of the X factors, and he came to play. He shot the ball extremely well. He hit four threes. He was in attack. He got a couple dunks in transition early on in the game which got him going, and he was really good for them.
Coach Kerr did a great job of mixing the lineup up. They have so many different interchangeable players where he can kind of decide how he wants to go with his lineups in that nature, and to start him tonight gave them that boost.
Q. Did you feel like they did anything differently defensively against you or was it mostly straight up still, or did they shade guys toward you as you got in the lane?
No, they doubled me a little bit more tonight. They kind of made me get a ball up, seeing if some of my teammates can beat those guys.
Like I said, we couldn't make any shots from the outside, but we'll take those looks again. Those guys, my guys did a great job just stepping into them, trying to make them being confident about them. But when you go 4 for 27 from the three point line, there's not much success offensively.
Q. They talked a lot about trying to increase the pace the past few days. Do you think there was anything they were effective in doing that or, again, is that a product of you guys not making shots and allowing them to get out?
Yeah, their pace has been pretty good all series. It's just that we've made shots and we've made them take the ball out of the basket instead of getting it off a rebound. Tonight we shot 33 percent from the field. So when you're getting the ball off the glass or you're getting the ball off the rim, your pace is much better than when you're taking the ball off the net. So it's just a product of us not shooting the ball well at all.
Q. J.R. Smith has really been struggling throughout this whole series. Today, 0 from 8 from the three point line. Do you think maybe bringing him back to the starting five will be the right step to build up his confidence?
That's a decision I think Coach Blatt and the coaching staff will either make or not make. He's been great for us coming off the bench. He's been great for us starting. So we'll see. We'll see what the coaches have him playing. We're going to go with him, we'll continue to give him the ball. He's a spark for our team, whether he's in the starting role or not.
Q. Your fans started to leave the arena five minutes before the game was over. Your comment about that?
I don't have any comment about it. I mean, I came out of the game as well early. So we were on the same page.
Q. At the start of the game they took out Andrew Bogut and went with Iguodala in the starting lineup. What kind of challenges does their small ball lineup present to you guys?
Well, obviously, you're going to have a lot of guys on the perimeter. When your big is accustomed to guarding a big for three straight games and there is a change, now our big, meaning Timo, has to make a change. He has to guard a smaller guy, which he's not been accustomed to ever. So he definitely gave us a little different look defensively to start the game.
We still started the game pretty well. We were up 7 0, but Steph making the three, Iguodala hits the three, Harrison Barnes makes one, Draymond hits one. And they offensively got it going. They got in a rhythm, and you could start seeing it.
It's something like I said, while it's going on, you kind of like: What do we do here? What do we do there? And that's what the days in between games are for. You're able to look at the film and go from there and see ways you can just be better.
Q. Three games left. How are you going to be able to overcome the utter physical and mental exhaustion that you're feeling?
I mean, it's three games left possibly. You just go out and play. You know you go out, you play hard.
Coaching staff gives you a great game plan, you go out and execute it and live with the results at the end of the day.
That's all you can ask. It's the biggest stage in the world, but I don't put too much added pressure on myself about basketball. It's just that's all it is. It's just basketball.
Q. Two questions. One, did you have to go through any concussion protocol things? Was there any thought that you might have something like that? And the second one would be you guys are two games away from winning a title. Just living here, feeling that in the city of Cleveland, what's that been like for you the last couple of days?
No, I didn't have to go through any concussion protocol. I had a slight headache, which I think every last one of you guys would probably have if you ran into a camera. You might have a little bit more than that. But I didn't go through any protocol. I'm fine. Like I said, I got a few stitches and I got a little slight headache right now, but I'll be fine with that.
I don't know if I get the feeling or not, because I don't really get involved in it, the whole thing. I understand how important this city is and what I mean to this city and what our team means to the city as far as even with other professional sports teams that we have in this city, but I don't get caught up into it. I just go out and play my game. I try to lead the best way I can, and if I can put my team and this franchise in a position to win the title, I'm grateful for that, and that's what I'm trying to do.
Q. Draymond Green was just in here and he said this Finals has been a street fight. So to use a boxing analogy, you guys are moving into the championship rounds. You have a lot of Finals experience; a lot of your teammates do not. As a leader, how do you keep their confidence up for these last three games for this fight?
Well, I mean, if I told my teammates six months ago or whatever the case may be that it would be 2 2 and we had an opportunity to be 2 2 in The Finals going on the road, would you take it? With three games left, I think all of them would accept that, and that's what it's about.
I mean, this is the biggest stage. It's being covered by everyone in the world, and you should just be happy to go out and just compete. Win, lose or draw, you go out and compete. And that's all that should matter.
It shouldn't matter what everyone is talking about or what everyone is putting pressure on you or things of that nature. It means nothing. I mean, in the scheme of things. You go out and you play, and you've been playing basketball your whole life. You live with the results after that.
Q. The series is tied now going to Golden State. Do you feel that this is the biggest challenge of your career so far? How do you feel about maybe thinking about letting this one go at home?
You don't let any of them go. Both teams are in The Finals for a reason. You can either look at it, okay, we stole home court and they stole it back. Or you could look at it and say they won two on their floor; we won two on our floor. It would be the same thing. If they won Game 1 and Game 2 and we came home and protected home court, it would be 2 2 and we're heading to Game 5.
So the story line is different. It just depends on what day it is and how you guys want to write the story.
Biggest challenge of my career was being down 3 2 going into Boston. That's probably the biggest challenge of my career. Game 5 at Golden State is not that big when it comes to going to Boston and you lose multiple times in that arena, and the franchise that I was with at the time had never won a playoff game in Boston. Now that's pretty challenging. So I've been through a little bit in my pretty cool career.
Head Coach Steve Kerr
Q. When did you make the decision on starting Andre, and when did you let him know and what went into that thinking?
We made the decision this morning, and so when I was asked today, I think Tim asked me if Bogut was starting, I lied. No, I did. I mean, I lied. I figure I have two press conferences on the day of the game, so I'm asked a lot of strategic questions.
So my options were tell the truth and I was asked both at shootaround and before the game so if I tell the truth, it's the equivalent of me knocking on David Blatt's door and saying, hey, this is what we're going to do. I could evade the question, which would start this Twitter phenomenon: Who is going to start for the Warriors? Or I could lie. So I lied.
Sorry, but I don't think they hand you the trophy based on morality. They give it to you if you win. So sorry about that.
Q. Can you talk about why you made the move, one, and also after that little tough start, did you second guess yourself?
Yeah, it was 7 0 I guess it was, and we called a timeout. The big thing we were trying to get across to the players, not just when it was 7 0, but even today, it's 48 minutes. We have to have pace for 48 minutes, so there's going to be some lulls. We knew that the rebounding was going to be an issue at times. The third quarter they pounded us. But the pace was good.
Obviously we got off to a good start. We got the lead. It was our tempo, and we were able to withstand the rebounding barrage that was, at some point, inevitable.
Q. And why?
Why were we able to?
Q. Why did you do it? Make the change?
Oh, for pace. We did it for pace and floor spacing and just to get the tempo going.
Q. What do you think made the big difference in this game comparing the other games?
Well, I don't think the biggest difference was the starting lineup or the adjustment that we made. I think the biggest difference was we played a lot harder.
Q. Was it to try to control the rhythm of the game?
Yeah, we controlled the tempo and the rhythm of the game. But that I think had more to do with us competing and getting to long rebounds and loose balls. I thought the first three games they were the more competitive team.
Maybe it's our first trip to The Finals, we thought we can play hard. It's not just about playing hard. It's about playing every single possession like it's your last. And I thought tonight our effort took a step up and that's why we were able to win.
Q. The small lineup, almost is it more mental even to get your players thinking fast or just to get them in a different mindset almost more than even the physical nature of it?
Maybe that's a part of it. But, no, I mean, the actual move changes the chess board. So I think it was important to get better spacing. We had five guys out there who can run pretty fast, so we got up and down the floor pretty quickly and that helped us get off to a better start.
Q. You limited Andre Iguodala's minutes all season long, bringing him off the bench. He looked like the most energized guy out there tonight and for the series. Is that a deliberate move by you just knowing that you're going to need him to be at his best here in The Finals?
That's a big part of it. Part of it was the bringing off the bench part was to help Harrison and put Harrison in a better role and also to solidify our second unit, which Andre did. We tried all season long to give Andre rest. We kept him at, I don't know, 29 minutes a game, 28 maybe.
But I think we gave him I don't know the exact number. We gave him four or five games off at key times, and we just wanted to keep him as fresh as possible. I mean, he looks great out there. He's been our best player through four games. He guards LeBron pretty much every possession that he's out there, and his offense has been terrific.
Q. Obviously LeBron has hurt you all series. Besides the efforts of Andre, can you talk about how you shaded, it looked like you shaded a second guy toward him a lot, and didn't necessarily double team him, but you had extra help there for him?
I think we were just more active. It wasn't a strategic change. It was just more active. It's what I was talking about before, the competitive level was higher, and that led to more activity.
Q. I know you haven't looked at the tape yet.
No, I just watched it.
Q. Did you watch it all?
Q. That will give you a better answer to this question then. When you think about what Andre was able to do defensively against LeBron, what was particularly making it difficult for LeBron to be effective tonight?
I didn't think Andre guarded him any differently than he did the first three games. It's a different game. LeBron's shots didn't go in. The same shots may go in next game. You never know how it's going to play out. But Andre, he battles him. He's played him a lot in his career. I mean, Andre, whatever team he's been on, he's the guy who has to guard LeBron when LeBron comes to town.
So his experience helped him. But I didn't think his defense was any different tonight than it was the first three games.
Q. Losing this game for you guys was definitely not an option. When you have to win a game like this, why do you put your faith in a guy like Andre?
I mean, he's one of our two captains. He's our most experienced player and he's one of the smartest players I've ever been around. The guy is brilliant at both ends. He sees the game. If he wants to coach someday, he'd be a great coach. Although he says he would be too impatient, so I don't know if he's got the patience. But he's got a great basketball mind.
Q. You've described Andre as the resident cynic on the team. I was curious how he reacted when you told him about the assignment and the rest of the team as well?
No cynicism. He just nodded his head and said, All right, let's go. His role didn't really change much. I mean, he was still playing big minutes against LeBron anyway the first three games. It was the positions around him that changed. But he was on board and he competed like everybody else did.
Q. After the Cavaliers started off with a 7 0 lead, you took a timeout and then told your players, Don't worry, they are playing seven players in their rotation for 48 minutes; that will wear them down. Now looking at the stat sheet, it seems like you played a seven player rotation, except for Leandro Barbosa. The question is are you going to shorten your rotation throughout the season? If so, maybe you lied to yourself during that timeout?
Every game is different. I had no idea how many guys I would play tonight. I thought there were going to be opportunities to play Bogut more, Festus Ezeli. I thought I may put Mo Speights out there. I had a lot of options and a lot of thoughts.
At that point I honestly did think I was going to play ten people. But the way the game unfolded, I just stuck with kind of seven plus Barbosa a little bit. He played some key minutes in the first half.
But every game is a little different. You just have to roll with it.
Q. In terms of the decisions that you had to make when you took the job and the conversations that you had, where did the one with Andre rank in terms of the challenges of that or the difficulties?
It was a series of conversations with Andre through training camp. I didn't make up my mind to bring him off the bench until late in camp.
But we had several discussions about it. I don't think he was thrilled, but he understood my reasoning. I explained what I was thinking, and, to his credit, he accepted it immediately. I thought it set a tone for our team from the beginning, a sacrifice.
The other guy I want to mention is David Lee who has sacrificed more than anybody. He lost his role completely. Andre just lost his starting job. David lost his entire spot in the rotation.
David's been fantastic. Just keeping his spirits up and supporting the team, and we kept talking all year about your time's going to come. Stay with it. He believed it and he stayed with it, and he's making a big impact.
I'm really pleased for those two guys and just the impact that it's made on our team, the unselfishness. It's been very important.
Q. Coach, the decision to go small, controlling the tempo, having better pace, as you've mentioned, the issue of points in the paint and second chance points where the Cavs when they've played well and scored well, obviously that's created problems for the Warriors. Did that factor into your consideration tonight at all with respect to going small?
Of course. They're a big, strong team. You've got LeBron barrelling into the lane. You've got to be able to deal with the rim defense, with the paint defense, and that's the tradeoff.
But we just felt like after three games, being down 2 1, we needed a change. We needed to shift the tempo, and that's why we did it. And who knew if it was going to work or not, but it went our way tonight. Next game could be different. We may make some different adjustments and we'll just play it by ear.
Q. You played Stephen Curry for the entire second half. I was curious about that decision, and I was also curious about or almost the entire second half. And also curious about LeBron got to the rim a lot in the last game, and it seemed like you guys did something to stop that, and I was curious if you had something to say about that?
Well, we're playing Steph more minutes in the playoffs. We have to. He's the MVP of the league. I checked with him a couple times during the game. He said he was fine, so I stayed with him.
Honestly, we didn't do much differently against LeBron. It was just more active, more competitive.
Q. I have a question for each of you. Andre, what was the my arm is broken thing about? And, Steph, what does Andre mean to this team?
ANDRE IGUODALA: It's more that goes into the game than people realize. Like not being able to sleep and get in your normal routine. You can't take naps. It's like everything, every emotion, every thought, like everything, physical, mental, psychological, everything is thrown into the game.
It's just so like my brain is like fried. But it's like we understand the commitment and sacrifice we have to make. So it was just a perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy the moment. As soon as you get back to the line and shoot the free throws, you're right back into just grinding, grinding, grinding, trying to get a win.
Q. I have two quick questions for you guys. Coach Kerr said that you, Andre, are being the best player of the series. Steph, you seemed to play Dellavedova very physical tonight. Was that part of your new game plan, to battle him?
STEPHEN CURRY: We want to make it as tough on him as possible. He obviously has a game plan for his defense on us to try to get into you and do whatever he can to try to make you uncomfortable, so you're going to do it back to him and make him work on the offensive end.
Because he obviously had some pivotal shots in game or a pivotal shot in Game 3 that helped them get the win. So if you try to make him uncomfortable the whole game, you might wear him down and get into that battle a little more. So I think it worked.
ANDRE IGUODALA: As far as the series, I think it's just about playing the game the right way, and our team has been really good at just letting it flow, and whoever's night it is, that is the guy's night. But the majority of the time it's Steph just because he is who he is and he's going to do that no matter where he's at.
And Klay is huge for us too. But Klay was 4 for 9 tonight, and it didn't look like he had a great game, but he played the perfect game as far as making guys guard him every possession, drawing two guys on him, and that opens it up for everybody else.
As we get older and mature and play this game, great players like that understand maybe it's not my night, but someone else is going to have a huge game because of me.
Myself, Draymond, Harrison, Shaun Livingston, Barbosa were able to see openings and do things because these two guys draw so much attention.
STEPHEN CURRY: And to answer your question, he pretty much embodies what he just talked about, always being ready. I think he likes the challenge of his match up, and especially in this series and throughout the course of the season. Or each game no matter what he's asked to do, being ready to do it. Confidence in knocking down his shots when he's open, making plays.
And we know his knack for just being impactful on the defensive end, whether it's playing one on one defense, getting steals, rebounds, blocking shots, he does it all. So it showed tonight and a huge reason why we're 2 2 going home.
Q. What was your reaction when Kerr told you guys he was starting the small lineup? What did you think it did for you and what does it tell you when your coach has made two major moves in Game 4s, you're down 2 1, and you're able to turn the corner and get to 2 2?
STEPHEN CURRY: I think it I mean, it made sense when he told us just because we've been getting off to such slow starts. When we have that lineup out there in parts of the game, we were able to turn defensive stops into transition and just pick the tempo and the pace of the game up.
And if we can do that from the jump, we thought we'd put some pressure on them and not let them be so comfortable with the lead like they've had the last couple games.
Obviously, they jumped out to a 7 0 run, but we settled in and played that first quarter, I think, pretty aggressively on both ends of the floor. Gave them a different look, and I think it worked.
So he mentioned, obviously, just because we started that lineup tonight doesn't mean you can just go out there and expect to have the same results in Game 5. We have to actually do something about it and execute the game plan with whoever's out there. So we've got to be ready for any adjustment we're going to make.
Q. What does it tell you to have your coach make successful adjustments in the middle of the series?
STEPHEN CURRY: Not afraid to take a chance, and obviously it's not a blind guess. He's obviously invested in our team and a smart coach that is willing to, like you said, make adjustments to help us be in a better position to win a game.
We still need Bogut to be productive when he gets on the floor, and he's obviously going to play minutes and have an impact throughout the rest of the series, so we want to make sure he's still locked in. I know he will be.
But Coach manages all that really well. You've got to take a chance, I think, with the situation that we were in tonight.
Q. For either of you, no team in the history of the NBA Finals has come back from a 3 1 deficit. Were you aware of that? Is that something you talked about? What does that say about how big this win was for you tonight?
ANDRE IGUODALA: We didn't talk about that at all. We have a very competitive group, guys with a lot of pride and guys who really want to embrace the moment. Our focus is the next game we've got to win. Every playoff game is like a precious moment. Every possession, every timeout. You've got to be locked in. You've got to pay attention, any adjustments.
We're just really I think both teams are really trying to do whatever it takes to win. So we're taking it one game at a time saying we've got to win no matter what it is. If we're up 3 0, we've got to win Game 4. That is just the mindset that we have.
Q. Andre, can you talk specifically about what you tried to do defensively against LeBron? Did you get a little bit more help than you guys have been giving on him? Also, do you think you're wearing him down?
ANDRE IGUODALA: We've got a lot of great players in this league that can score the ball in bunches. You know, it's like 10 or 15 guys in this league. I've had a chance to guard all of them. I've been doing it for a long time.
The thing that makes him dynamic is he's probably one of the smartest and best passer out of all the scorers, which really makes him dynamic.
But the foundation is the same. Make him work as hard as possible. Make him take tough shots. You look at his strengths, his weaknesses, which way he wants to go, which way he prefers to play, and you try to just take him out of his comfort zone. Sounds easier said than done, but we all have a lot of talent on the court, and when we go out there, we want to make our stamp on the game.
Q. Was this the first game where you guys really felt like yourselves and felt more comfortable? And if so, why was that?
STEPHEN CURRY: For a total of 48 minutes, definitely, since Game 1. We've had spurts where, obviously, the last quarter in Game 3, the last 3:00 minutes of Game 2 we got to our identity, but it was a little too late.
Tonight we came in with the mentality that, obviously, like we were saying, we had to win this game. It was about effort and consistent effort every possession. It's obviously not perfect. We still can play a little bit better, I think. But the effort was at a level that it erased some of those mistakes and we just battled from the start.
So we gave ourselves a shot, and shots go in. Everybody starts to feel good. You pick up some momentum, and you get a big road win.
Q. In the third quarter the Cavs were able to catch up with a deficit. You were down to 2, 3 points. What kind of adjustments were you able to do at that point?
STEPHEN CURRY: I was kind of at fault for a lot of that. I had two turnovers in transition, where you can't have that and you give them extra possessions. Once we settled down, Coach got into us during the timeout and challenged us to answer their run, which we knew they were going to make.
We weren't going to run away with the game at halftime. We knew we would really have to put together a solid effort in the second half to withstand the run that they were going to have, and that was a good calling card moment for us.
H.B. comes out of the timeout and knocks down the three. We close out the last three minutes strong, and have a six point lead going into the fourth quarter, and the rest is kind of history. Just our effort in the fourth quarter knowing it was winning time. I don't know if there was a specific adjustment other than just playing smarter and keeping our composure.
Q. Draymond, you seem a lot more confident with your shot. You came out and made your first three. Did that kind of just get you going?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I put a lot of work in yesterday. I know the amount of work I've put in over my life, over the course of the summers, this year, but I just wasn't feeling confident at all. And I knew coming into this game I had to be more confident.
So we actually had a day off yesterday, and Coach Kerr gave us 30 minutes to shoot if you wanted to shoot, and I took an hour. And I wasn't leaving this gym until I felt comfortable. I shot a lot of pull ups, mid range jump shots, floaters and threes. And I just shot until I felt comfortable, and I was able to come out with more confidence.
You can say you're going to come out more confident, but if you don't put the work in, it's hard to come out more confident. So I think just putting that work in with Luke Walton yesterday helped me out a lot.
I just said, hey, got in here being confident and just continue to push and play with intensity. I can't get here and play the way I've been playing the first three games. So I was able to be a little better today.
Q. You guys held those guys to 33 percent shooting and 14 from three. What was different for you guys defensively tonight from the other games?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Our intensity level. We really picked up our intensity level. We contested shots. We got on loose balls, and we rebounded. They still outrebounded us, but we battled. It's more important to just battle. If they were getting off his rebounds, they weren't clean. They still had to scramble to get another shot. And that's what's been winning them games. They've just been outworking us.
So we said, hey, we're going to come out tomorrow this was yesterday. We're going to come out tomorrow, we're going to outwork them, and we're going to play our brand of basketball. We're going to play at our pace, and that's what got us this win today.
Q. Coach Blatt said that they were fatigued. Did you notice them being a little fatigued towards particularly the third quarter, end of the fourth quarter?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Absolutely. And that's one thing we've been preaching the whole series is that we wanted to wear them down. They're playing seven guys, sometimes eight, but the majority of the time they're playing seven guys. And LeBron is having to shoulder a lot of the load.
So you just want to continue to try to wear them down, wear them down, and we were able to do that tonight. Pushing the tempo, that was able to wear them down a little bit more. So they made comeback, and I think they just ran out of gas. That's what's been the game plan.
But in order to wear them down, you've got to fight for the loose balls. You've got to fight for the rebounds. If everything's easy, no matter how many guys they're playing, you don't wear them down. So I think the way we fought was able to wear them down tonight.
Q. It's been 101 games before Andre Iguodala got his first start of the season. Steve Kerr says he's been your best player in this series. In what ways did he prove that to you and to the team against LeBron James tonight?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Oh, I mean, I knew that before today that he's been the best player in this series. Guarding LeBron, he's been aggressive on the offensive end. I mean, he's been phenomenal for us. He's been that steady force in every game in this series for us.
Inserting him into the starting lineup tonight, he's already being aggressive. He's already being really confident, but it brought pace to the game. Mozgov's just been pretty much sitting at the rim the entire series. Now you have to chase somebody around a little bit more. He was knocking down shots. He was all over the floor, getting deflections, coming up with loose balls, coming up with rebounds and pushing the tempo. And that really helped us out a lot.
So that's another one of those decisions that Coach Kerr made that most coaches probably wouldn't make, but he's had the heart to do it, and it worked out for us tonight.
Q. When did you find out that you would be moving over to center, and when did you find out about the lineup shift? Talk about defending Mozgov in the middle. You're giving up a lot of size there?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I found out a little earlier today before the game that I'd be moving over to center. I mean, I've played center multiple times throughout the course of the year when we go to our small lineup. I've never started there this year.
But Mozgov's huge, man. 7'3", and he probably outweighs me by at least 40 pounds, and he's talented. I think he's probably one of the most underrated players in the league. Even watching him in Denver, he never got the credit that he deserved. He was great for them tonight.
But at the end of the day, you're going to want Mozgov to beat you. You're going to take the chance on Mozgov beating you before you take the chance on LeBron beating you. So he had a good game, but we were able to slow LeBron down a little bit, and we made him have to run the floor with us, and it worked to our favor.
Q. Following up with what you were talking about with Iguodala. Your two former All Stars, David Lee and Andre, have kind of been huge keys and they're the ones who have arguably sacrificed the most this year for the team. Do you see that as a coincidence or how have you seen that situation play out especially the last two games?
DRAYMOND GREEN: One thing I call those guys is they're a pro's pro. They're very professional. When Coach Kerr inserted me into the starting lineup, David never mumbled a word about it. He never gave up on me. He never stopped supporting me. And whenever his number's called did he not go hard. Same thing with Andre.
And they're two of our vets. They're two of the longest tenured NBA players on our team, and they act like it. That's why this team has been successful this year because of guys like that, willing to sacrifice, but yet staying ready.
Because one thing we've preached all year and we've used all year is our depth. Struggling a little bit throughout this series, David came in last game and gave us a lift. Andre's been great for us throughout this entire series. Yet they're the two guys that lost their spot. But it's not about that. It's about what Coach Kerr feels is best for the team, and everybody else, it's just about winning. Whatever works to win.
Bogut didn't say a word about not starting. He played two minutes. Didn't say a word. All he said is if we win, I don't care, and that's what it's about. And that's what's made this team successful, attitudes like that. It's a group that's tied together, working for each other, and that's the type of stuff that helps us win.
Q. You guys have used the lineup, as you said, throughout the year with you at center. What was different about starting a game with that and taking the jump ball?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Can you repeat that one more time?
Q. What was different, you guys have played the lineup with you at center throughout the year. What was different, if anything, about starting the game with that lineup for you?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Well, I had no chance at winning the tip. That was one thing. The ball was gone before I even got a chance to jump. No, but it just gave us that pace from the start. We kind of use it usually as a change of pace thing. So all of a sudden the game slows down, boom, Coach Kerr goes to the small lineup, and the complete flow of the game changed.
Well, that's something that we've been missing throughout this entire series. It has not been at our pace. LeBron's been doing a lot of iso and then finding guys, and it slows the game down. So that allowed us to push the tempo. Even off made baskets, one time. I think I outlet it to Andre over the top and he got a dunk off one dribble.
That's the type of things that we need. We needed to put them on their heels. This entire series it's been them as the enforcers, them as the aggressors, and us on our heels. We needed to reverse that, and we were able to do that tonight, and that's what the small lineup helped do.
Q. Was it a concerted effort on your part going into the game that you weren't going to talk to the officials as much tonight?
DRAYMOND GREEN: You noticed that? (Laughing). My mom and my grandma told me I'm crying too much. Leave the officials alone and just play. They got you out there looking like you're a punk and don't know how to play basketball.
When you sit back and watch, that's what I was doing. And the fact that you asked me that question even further lets me know that that's what I was doing.
So I just told myself, I'm going to come out and play and whatever happens, happens. Don't argue the call. It's not getting overturned, so why continue to argue and waste energy on that? I spend enough energy dealing with these guys. Don't really have time to try to argue with the officials and all that stuff.
So I just wanted to come out and really focus on the game, the task at hand, and focus on helping my team. That kind of helped me out a lot tonight.
Q. With your turnaround in this game and the way you were playing, was it a little bit of you getting out of your own way and kind of getting your head right? First time on this kind of big stage?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Absolutely. I've been killing myself mentally, and it's been killing me physically. My punch hasn't been there. That drive that's made me who I am in this league as a player, it wasn't there. In turn, that's who I've been for this team. I've been that spirit, that guy who brings the toughness to the floor. That is the department that I lead this team in. So if there's nobody to lead the team in, then it's not there, and that's what this team was missing.
I told you guys the other day. I said we've been soft, and it's all my fault. And I wanted to come out here and change that tonight, and I knew in order to do that I had to get out of my own head. I had to be more aggressive and just fight.
That's what it comes down to. It's just a street fight. Nobody's doing anything dirty, but they're battling and we're battling, and that's why this series is so exciting, because that's all it is.
Beyond basketball, it's just a fight and guys are going at each other and trying to win The Finals. I think if we played as hard as we were playing the last couple of games, it would have won us probably 67 regular season games, but it would have lost us The Finals 4 1, and that's what we had to change.
And we were able to do that tonight. That's what helped us out a lot. That's what helped me out.