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PRESS CONFERENCE: NBA PLAYOFFS ROUND TWO: SPURS v WARRIORS

May 12, 2013
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



Mark Jackson


OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Game Four

SPURS – 87
WARRIORS - 97


THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Coach Jackson.

Q.  You shoot 38%, turn the ball over a lot.  Steph clearly wasn't at his best.  Can you say how you won this game?
COACH JACKSON:  I've been talking about this group all year long.  I'm just so glad that a national TV audience had an opportunity to see exactly what's been taking place in this area.
A bunch of guys, like I said, this is the greatest group of guys I've been around, a bunch of warriors, no pun intended.
We won this game the last 17 minutes by not turning the basketball over.  With four minutes to go, they had 82 points.  We are a defensive?minded team.  I have a young basketball team that has incredible heart.  I'm so proud of those guys from the first guy to the last guy.
You look at a guy like Biedrins, called upon, gave us great minutes.  I mean, we got an incredible group.  People beat up Jarrett Jack.  Why is he pounding the ball?  Bench him.  I'm going to go with this group until I'm not here.  This is a great group and I'm committed to them, they're committed to me.
Just a big?time win.  This is a heck of a series.

Q.  In the first half it seemed that you took Curry out a few times.  Was he hurting a little bit?  What was his physical status?
COACH JACKSON:  He wasn't 100%.  I said to him before the game, How you feeling?  He said, I'm going to give you what I got, coach.
I'm not going to put him in position to get hurt.  I didn't think he was 100%, so I tried to pick and choose when to use him, when not to use him.
We have a guy in Jack that can keep Steph off the ball and initiate an offense.  Steph made some big plays, but he wasn't 100%.
Once again, it's that same spirit flowing through that locker room that refuses to quit.

Q.  Harrison Barnes gave 26 points, took 26 shots.  Was there a concerted effort for him to attack the basket tonight?
COACH JACKSON:  Well, Steph was more of a stationary guy most of the night.  We needed our wing players to be aggressive.  Harrison did a great job of being aggressive.  We put him in pick'n roll situations when they switched.  We put the ball in his hands, he made some big?time plays.  The guy has grown up before our very eyes.
He had off?the?charts regular season, which put us in position to be the 6 seed.  He has elevated his game in the post?season.  It's great to watch.  I thought he took big shots.  He's a guy that's not afraid of the moment.  Obviously a guy that embraces the bright lights.

Q.  You had injuries, weren't shooting the ball well.  Is there any time at the end of this that you're shaking your head how unlikely this outcome is?
COACH JACKSON:  No.  It's because of who we are.  This is what these guys have been.  This is how hard they've worked.  This is how they're committed.  It's a special season for this basketball team and this group of guys, this entire organization, its fan base.
We've done things that show us when we do 'em how good we can be.  I'm not surprised by anything.  One thing I know, this team will not lay down, this team will not quit.  It looked dark.  It looked awfully dark.  But we found a way to get stops and to make plays.

Q.  Coach, take us from the time of Steph's injury to before the game.  Did you ever doubt that he could play?  How late did he give you the final okay?
COACH JACKSON:  When I left out of here, I went into my office, with 60 on the clock, went to chapel, Steph was there.  Outside of chapel, looked at Steph and had a conversation with him.  He said, I'm going to give you what I got, coach.  That's not the language he speaks.  I knew right away that he was not 100%.
I had an opportunity to talk to Bob Myers in the hallway also because that's dialogue, that's conversation that we don't normally hear from Steph.  At the end of the day, we both looked at each other and said, We're going to be fine no matter what.  If Jarrett Jack has to step up and make plays, if Steph has to give us a little bit, whatever it is, we're going to be fine.
There were times when I thought about taking Steph out, but I thought he was giving us enough.  Wasn't a problem on the defensive end.

Q.  Were you surprised he was able to give what he gave?
COACH JACKSON:  I guess yes, but no.  I'm a guy that believes, again, that God has His hands on this team.  Things are going to fall into place.  I'm also a guy that believes in these guys.  No quit.
It's tougher to let go of the rope when everybody's holding on, when everybody's tied together.  They inspire one another.  Truly they inspire me.
Thank you.


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