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May 24, 2015

Matt Dellavedova

LeBron James


Atlanta Hawks - 111
Cleveland Cavaliers - 114

Q.  LeBron, after Mack misses the second three there, you drop to the floor and kind of slap the floor.  What was going through your mind at that point?
LeBRON JAMES:  I gave it everything I had tonight.  My teammates did.  Played our tail off, and to be able to win the game like this, with so many ups and downs and so many lead changes, it's a huge win for our team.

Q.  LeBron, you started 0‑for‑10 tonight but still had an amazing stat line.  Can you just take us through the slow start.  What got you going?  And if you could, compare this to Game 5 in Detroit in '07.
LeBRON JAMES:  I was struggling earlier.  I missed a lot of shots that I know I'm capable of making, obviously.  Missed a lot of layups.  Missed a couple threes, and my teammates kept me afloat.
I think I was 0‑for‑9 at the end of the first quarter, but it was 21‑24 at the end of the first quarter.  We were in the game because of my teammates.  They picked me up, and I just tried to do some other things while we were struggling offensively as far as shooting.
For me, offense, as far as scoring, doesn't define my game.  I've always wanted to be a triple threat in this league, being able to rebound and to assist and also to score.  So when I wasn't scoring and those guys were picking me up, I was able to do other things to help us go.
Every game is different as far as the Game 5 in Detroit.  Compared to this game, it's so much different.  It was a 2‑2 series at that point being in Detroit.  Tonight is a 2‑0 series being back home.  This is much different, but the win feels great.

Q.  Matthew, I wanted to see if you could just respond to Al Horford, he claims that‑‑ he said that he feels you have a track record now for hurting opponents.  I wanted to get your take on the play and that comment.
MATTHEW DELLAVEDOVA:  I would obviously disagree with that.  I was boxing him out, and you can see from the baseline view that he's pulling my left arm down.

Q.  LeBron, also, how are you feeling now?  And what do you do to recover from what happened today?
LeBRON JAMES:  How am I feeling?  I've been better.  It will be around‑the‑clock treatment, as usual, to get my mind, get my body ready for Tuesday.

Q.  LeBron, I've heard it said in the past, Larry Bird used to say that rebounding was mostly will.  You had 20 rebounding opportunities; you grabbed 18 of them.  Could you tell me about your will to rebound.
LeBRON JAMES:  Well, we needed it tonight.  We gave ourselves 19 offensive rebounds, extra possessions when we weren't shooting the ball well.  For me, we played a lot of small ball tonight.  But even when we're big, I just try to help our bigs out, try to help rebound.  It's good offense for us when I'm able to rebound, able to push the break.
Just being in that mindset that I tried to get every rebound possible that was in my lane.  One or two I could have got, like you said, but just being in the mix and just helping us get extra possessions.

Q.  LeBron, Blatt described your injury as cramps.  I know you grabbed your leg several times during the game.  Was this similar to what you had gone through in Miami in The Finals last year and previous years or something different?
LeBRON JAMES:  No, it's probably, it's the same thing.  I play to exhaustion.  I play hard and I give my teammates, and I give myself as much as I can give.  Sometimes the body just kind of shuts down at times, and that's what happened tonight at one point.
Even in the overtime, I asked to come out, but I had a second thought, and there was no way I can go‑‑ I wouldn't have felt right about the situation, win, lose, or draw, if I'd have went to the bench and not being out there for my teammates.  So it was mind over matter at that point.

Q.  For either of you, when you're out there, what responsibility do you have for the safety of the other nine guys on the floor?
LeBRON JAMES:  What does that mean?

Q.  In terms of style play, do you have to be mindful of whether it's running into a guy, whether you're going up for a foul, hard foul?
LeBRON JAMES:  Well, you just play the game the right way.  At this point, you try to do whatever it takes to win.  You don't want to hurt nobody.  No one, I think, in our league goes around trying to hurt people, but you don't take the aggressive nature out of the game.
I think in the case of‑‑ ever since you were a kid, the ball on the floor, the first man to the floor usually gets the ball.  There's no difference between what Delly did to Kyle Korver last game and 18 guys diving on the floor late in the game tonight.  It was like six or seven guys diving on the floor for that loose ball.  Delly was on the floor.  J.J. was on the floor.  Mike Scott was on the floor.  Shump was on the floor.  J.R. was on the floor.  Just no one got hurt.
There's no difference between me boxing out or Al Horford boxing me out and Delly boxing someone out.  That is a fundamental box‑out.  That's all it is.  And we all know that.  We don't never want to play with the integrity of the game and try to get people hurt.  That's not what it's about because we all want brotherhood at the end of the day, NBA family.  But I play to win the game, and you play aggressively.  That's what it's about.

Q.  LeBron, that corner three has been pretty good to you these playoffs so far.  Is there any‑‑
LeBRON JAMES:  I need to shoot more from the corner (laughter).  No other three has been good to me, basically, is what you're saying.

Q.  Is there any story behind Tristan Thompson suggested that perhaps Damon Jones deserves some credit?
LeBRON JAMES:  Which side of the credit?  The I'm‑not‑shooting‑so‑well credit or‑‑

Q.  You tell us.
LeBRON JAMES:  I mean he does, for sure.  We work every day, just trying to get the ball up there and not think about it too much.  First of all, the offensive rebound by Double‑T was huge.  I seen in his mind that he wanted to go back up for that shot, and I yelled his name probably as loud as I could yell it because I wanted another opportunity.
I just seen Paul Millsap running a little out of control, just gave him a pump fake, and I just stick to my routine.  Things that I worked on all year long, make or miss, and I would be satisfied with the result.

Q.  LeBron, would an earlier version of yourself have been able to handle an 0‑for‑10 start as well as you did?  Would it have affected you more a few years ago?
LeBRON JAMES:  Well, not a few years ago.  A few is probably like three or four.  I was still going to The Finals at that point.
Probably 23, 24, 25 maybe.  I think just because I've had experience.  It's not about the younger LeBron or anything like that.  I've been able to have experience over the years that's helped me to get to this point.  I really don't‑‑ my game is so much better than it was when I was younger, and I just try to‑‑ everything that I've worked on over the course of years and the mental side of the game, I just try to incorporate that on the floor, no matter if I'm making shots or missing shots or whatever the case may be.

Q.  LeBron and Matthew, first of all, Matthew, DeMarre Carroll said that a player should never dive at another player's feet.  Okay to dive for a basketball but never to dive at another player's feet.  In the case of Korver in Game 2, in the case of Horford tonight, did you feel that you were guilty of doing any such thing?
LeBRON JAMES:  I got it.
MATTHEW DELLAVEDOVA:  I can answer if you want.  I saw the ball.  I dived on the floor.  If I stay on my belly, it's going to be a jump ball.  So I protect the ball and kick it out to a teammate.
On the other one, I'm boxing him out.  He's pulling my left arm down.  I'm trying to stay up, and he's just pulling me down.  I mean, the tape's there.
LeBRON JAMES:  There's no‑‑ in Game 2, when Antic two‑hand shoves me out of the air.  The fact that I'm still playing, we don't talk about it, but he two‑hand shoves me in the air.  So what are we really talking about?  Are we going to talk about us trying to win basketball games or about those guys trying to figure out a way that Matthew Dellavedova is this type of‑‑ this guy, he works his tail off every single day.  He beats the odds, and he comes to play as hard as he can every single night.
If they're focused on Delly, then they're focused on the wrong thing.

Q.  Since you brought that up, Bron, when you talk about Antic, do you feel there's some things that the Hawks are doing that maybe Delly is getting some of the criticism for your team in general?
LeBRON JAMES:  That's not really our concern.  Obviously, I'm a little bit off about it because this is my guy, this is my teammate, and this is a guy that goes out and works his tail off every single night, and people are trying to give him a bad rap.  He doesn't deserve it, and I don't like it.  But I'm not going to get involved in anything that's outside of basketball.  That's not my place.
What I care about is how we prepare every single night, how we prepare in the film session, which we will have another one tomorrow, and how we go about trying to win a basketball game.  That's going to get 99.9 percent of my mental.  But I will protect my guys for sure.

Q.  Can you guys talk about being a game away from making it to The Finals.  And what needs to happen for you guys to get it done here?
LeBRON JAMES:  Just got to do‑‑ we defend.  Our coaching staff will give us a game plan, and it's up to us to go out and execute it.  We had a lot of mistakes tonight.  We did some things well, but we had a lot of mistakes tonight that we can clean up on.  If we come in with our defensive mindset, as we've had the whole playoffs so far, we give ourselves a chance to advance.  If not, then there will be a Game 5.

Q.  LeBron, is that more pain than you've ever played through at any point in your career?  And how do you do that when you're hurting and you just keep pushing through even when you're about to break?
LeBRON JAMES:  It's current, so I would say yeah.  I don't remember how I felt two years ago in a certain situation, but I'm playing through a lot.  It doesn't matter.  I don't want any sympathy.  There's no rest for the weary.  If I'm putting on a uniform and I'm on the floor, I have to make things happen for our team.  It's that simple.
I'm not the only guy that's limping.  I'm not the only guy that's cramping.  I'm not the only guy that's hurting.  There's a lot of guys out there that's playing as well, and I'm one of them as well.  So I've got to go out and help our team win, no matter where I'm at.

Q.  LeBron, could you talk about Shump and J.R., how big they were tonight, how big they've been to the Cavs.  The defense they play, the big shots they hit, maybe the emergence of Matthew also, especially in the light of Kyrie and his absence and what they've meant to you guys.
LeBRON JAMES:  Those three guys, obviously, J.R. and Shump, to answer the first part of your question, they were huge tonight.  J.R. gives us a double‑double, and no one talks about it.  Gives us 17 and 10.  And obviously, what Shump does, he rebounds, he defends whoever you need him to defend, and he gives us 15 points tonight as well.
And the guy next to me, he's been thrown into a situation that he wasn't thrown in all season for the most part, and that's starting, being our starting point guard, with Kyrie being absent the last couple games.  And those three guys have answered the call.  They've played exceptional basketball.  They've defended.  They've done everything we need them to do.  We need them to do it a little bit more.
It's just every game is going to be challenging.  As hard as it was to win tonight, Game 4 is going to be just as hard as it was tonight.  But those three guys are playing unbelievable basketball.  Without them, we wouldn't be sitting here at this point.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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