Kerr hails Warriors third quarter show


Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors talks to Stephen Curry #30 of the ...
Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors talks to Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors on January 12, 2017 (AFP Photo/EZRA SHAW)

In Summary

  • Head coach Steve Kerr said his Golden State Warriors players were "amazing in the third quarter and down the stretch" in the Game 2 comeback win over the Portland Trail Blazers
  • The defending NBA champions, playing without injured star Kevin Durant, ended the first half trailing 65-50 and their deficit grew to 17 points when CJ McCollum drained a pull-up jumper at the start of the third quarter

Head coach Steve Kerr said his Golden State Warriors players were “amazing in the third quarter and down the stretch” in the Game 2 comeback win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The defending NBA champions, playing without injured star Kevin Durant, ended the first half trailing 65-50 and their deficit grew to 17 points when CJ McCollum drained a pull-up jumper at the start of the third quarter.

However, hot three-point shooting from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson inspired a 39-24 third-quarter run that dragged the Warriors back into contention, tying the game at 89-89.

With four minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Blazers had restored an eight-point advantage but strong two-way play from Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala fuelled a 14-3 rally that sealed a 114-111 Warriors’ win.

Speaking at the post-game news conference, Kerr hailed the “competitive fire” of his team.

“The NBA game is a long, long game. There are so many possessions. With our team we always feel like we have a chance. We kept playing and our guys got it done,” he said.

“They were amazing in that third quarter and down the stretch as well. We stole that game. I thought [Portland] outplayed us for much of the night, the majority of the night, but we brought enough competitive fire in the second half to overcome their great play. We’ve been here before. I think our experience helped us. Yeah, we stole it for sure. They outplayed us.”

Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum agreed with Kerr’s assessment. “They stole it, but they earned it down the stretch,” he said. “They made more plays than us in the last two minutes, last three minutes, but I like our chances going forward. I like the way we came out and competed. We got to bring that same energy at home.”

Curry, who scored a game-high 37 points, said the Warriors’ game-changing third-quarter run was inspired by their coach. “We got challenged at half-time [by coach Steve Kerr] to play with more energy, more fight and more competitiveness, to find that edge when our back were against the wall,” he said.

“We competed and it was an exciting brand of basketball for those 12 minutes and we gave ourselves a chance to win the game down the stretch.”

Golden State forward Draymond Green attributed the Warriors’ fightback to their ‘strength in numbers’ team ethic, Curry and Thompson’s shooting and the team’s extensive postseason experience.

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