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June 14, 2015

LeBron James

Tristan Thompson


Golden State – 104
Cavaliers – 91

Q.  LeBron, there was a play in the stretch you guys‑‑ the Warriors were at the charity stripe, they got a couple offensive rebounds at that point.  I remember you motioned over and it seemed like you asked to get a big in that situation.  Can you talk about how difficult that was for you guys to play small and those offensive rebound?
LEBRON JAMES:  No, I mean, at the end of the day no matter who is on the floor, we have to come up with that rebound.  That's what it is.  We just have to come up with the rebound no matter if Double T or Mozzy are not in the game.  We've got to come up with those rebounds.  That just can't happen at the free‑throw line.

Q.  J.R. got off to a good start.  I think he had four of his first seven threes there and then he went quiet again.  What do you think happened with him?  Was that just the game kind of flowed away from him, or what did you see happen with him?
LEBRON JAMES:  I don't know what happened with him.  I mean, we kept going to him.  He just missed some shots.  He came out aggressive, which we wanted him to do.  We kept finding him.  He started off well, he just cooled down.  It's just a make‑or‑miss league.
He took some great shots.  Some of them was in a rhythm, and some of them‑‑ after he hit a few, he loves to go to the heat check, and we're all okay with that, and he just missed them.

Q.  LeBron and Tristan, LeBron, you gave, I would say, everything you had there, 40, 14, and 11, and you still come up short.  For both of you, how do you cope with that, when you have games like that that you guys usually win?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, you cope with it by understanding it's just one game and looking at the opportunity we have on Tuesday to force a Game 7.  Obviously, for myself, I want to do whatever it takes to help our team win, and I haven't been able to do that the last two.
So hopefully I can do a better job coming in on Tuesday.  We all as a unit can do a better job, and we'll be fine.
TRISTAN THOMPSON:  Piggyback on what LeBron said, just watch film and figure out areas we can do better at.  For me, rebound a little better, guard my man a little better, and just don't have mental breakdowns.
But like he said, we've got to go home and get a win and force a Game 7.

Q.  Obviously, like you just said, you guys will be on the cusp of elimination on Tuesday.  But obviously you don't want the Warriors celebrating on your home floor.  So how do you rally your teammates, and what will be your message to them before Game 6?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, we don't want them celebrating at all, no matter if it's on our home floor or their home floor.  We've come this far, and we've been very good at home.  We have to understand why we weren't good in Game 4.  We had a lack of energy.  We had a lack of effort in a lot of areas in Game 4, and we can't repeat that or they'll raise the trophy for sure.

Q.  LeBron and Tristan, you guys had pretty much avoided a Stephen Curry explosion until tonight, and really kind of the fourth quarter, anything you guys could have done?  Or just talk about what it's like when he kind of heats up like that?
TRISTAN THOMPSON:  He's one of the best shooters in our league.  Coach preach to us every night, have a high hand, he's going to make tough shots.  He took a couple shots he made on me.  Couple tough threes.  But we've got to contest and we've got to be at half court and make it physical for him and make it tough for him.
I guess your word, I guess he exploded, quote/unquote, but we've just got to do better.  It's not just Delly, it's all of us.  We've all got to help him.  The bigs got to help him and just get it out of his hands.
LEBRON JAMES:  I thought he was great.  You tip your hat off to a guy like that.  He made seven threes.  I don't know, were any of them not contested, hand in his face, falling, stepback off the dribble?  I'm okay with that.  We're okay with that.  I mean, you tip your hat to a guy who makes shots like that, and he's the guy that can do it in our league.  He's the best shooter in our league.
But that's not why we lost.  We gave up 18 fast breakpoints.  We gave up 15 second‑chance points.  Steph was special, obviously, but him hitting those stepback threes is not why we lost the game.

Q.  The fourth quarter has gone their way pretty well the last two games.  Is it fatigue, the depth thing, or is it just execution problems?  What's going on in those last couple nights?
LEBRON JAMES:  I think tonight, obviously, Steph got it going.  He hit some huge shots which kept us at bay.  They got a couple of offensive rebounds that didn't work to our favor.  You know, we needed our best defensive quarter tonight in the fourth quarter, and we didn't get it.  We gave up 31 points in the fourth.  Some of them were free throws, but a lot of them were them just breaking us down.  So we've got to do a better job of that.

Q.  You said hopefully you can do a little more the next game out.  How much more can you possibly do given what you've been putting in in this series, and do you ever recall having to extend yourself this far in a series?
LEBRON JAMES:  I don't know.  I don't put a ceiling on what I can do.  I don't know.  I mean, tonight I gave up two offensive rebounds‑‑ one to Barbosa in the first half, one to Harrison Barnes, which allowed him to get an and‑one with Iguodala with the left‑hand trick shot.
I had a couple turnovers, a couple miscues defensively, and I've got to be better.  I don't know.  Like I said, I don't put a ceiling on what I'm capable of doing.  I know I'm shouldering a lot of the burden, but it is what it is.

Q.  You seem to be playing a lot more comfortable this Finals series.  There was a play I think you had a behind‑the‑back lay‑up where you went up and you're making crazy threes.  Do you feel a lot less pressure this Finals run just because you are undermanned and you had some injuries as opposed to previous years?
LEBRON JAMES:  No.  No, I feel confident because I'm the best player in the world.  It's that simple.

Q.  In regards to pressure with the games playing, do you feel as if this Finals team, it's a little less?
LEBRON JAMES:  No, I mean, it's The Finals.  It's something you dream of when you're a kid.  For me, I put the work in.  I put the work in every single day, either when you guys are there, either when you're not there.  Some of our beat writers see me.  They know how much work I put into it, and I give everything to my teammates.
When you're true to the game, it doesn't matter if it's a regular season game or a Finals game, you just go out and trust what you put into the game and you live with the results.  So shouldn't be crazy when I make threes, though.  It's just a shot.

Q.  In particular, the half court one, the almost half court one, that was somewhat crazy?

Q.  Would you agree?
LEBRON JAMES:  All right (laughing).

Q.  You mentioned giving up some offensive rebounds and the second‑chance points that they got as a team.  You guys usually are doing that to other teams.  Was there any sort of a deflating feeling when they were able to keep coming up with those offensive rebounds?
LEBRON JAMES:  When you're going up against a high‑offensive‑power team like this, to get them to miss, it's very deflating when they get a second‑chance point or a second‑chance crack.  Even when they don't make it, they're looking for those three pointers, they're looking for Klay and Steph when they get offensive rebounds.  So those are very deflating.
But we've got to do a better job of hitting bodies, coming over the ball.  They're going to get offensive rebounds because they shoot a lot of jump shots and a lot of long rebounds, but when that happens, we've got to match up very quickly and not allow them to make shots.

Q.  Tristan, what's it like being on the other end of that, because usually you're doing that to other teams?
TRISTAN THOMPSON:  Yeah, like LeBron said, it's definitely deflating to our defense.  But like he said, they take some tough shots that you don't see too often, so we've got to find our man, box him out.  If it's not the bigs grabbing rebounds, guards come, so we've just got to all collectively grab rebounds and push it back on them in transition.

Q.  LeBron, do you feel that at this moment of this series, this roster, the roster you guys have right now, do you remember like those Cavaliers X teams where you had to do it all but it wasn't enough, your previous Cavaliers teams?
LEBRON JAMES:  Nope.  Nope we're going home with a Game 6, and we've got enough to win it.  We protect home we come here.  We'll worry about Tuesday first.  But if we protect home like we're capable of doing, we force a Game 7.

Q.  So this is different?
LEBRON JAMES:  I feel confident.

Q.  LeBron, do you feel like the smaller lineup hurt you guys defensively tonight?  The Golden State Warriors shot 48 percent against you guys?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, there are a lot of things that hurt us tonight.  Steph being one of them.  That had nothing to do with going small.  I think we were much more active tonight than we were in Game 4.
And some of the shots that they made, like I said, some of the shots that Steph made, you've got to tip your hat to a guy like that.  I mean, he's between, behind, crossover, stepback threes, with a contest, you're okay with that.  That had nothing to do with us being small.
When we don't get back in transition, those are things we can clean up.  When we get offensive rebounds on free throws, those are things we can clean up.  Those are things that can hurt you.  But it had nothing to do with us being small.  Whoever's in the game needs to do their job and do it at a high level, do it to the best of their ability and you live with the aftermath after that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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