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June 11, 2015

LeBron James


Golden State – 103
Cavaliers – 82

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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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.
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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?
LEBRON JAMES:  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.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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