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May 19, 2016

Kyrie Irving

LeBron James

Kevin Love

Cleveland, Ohio: Game Two

Cleveland - 108, Toronto - 89

Q. LeBron, there's a broader point to this, but have you seen a double team in this series, or have you seen many in the playoffs this year?
LeBRON JAMES: I've seen everything. I've seen a lot, and the best thing about it, my teammates have read and react, and either given me space or given me outlets for me to make a pass to them. Tonight was another example of that.

Q. The biggest point is we've talked so much about how well the two guys with you have been playing in this postseason, but their level of play, does it make it more difficult to deal with you then? Does it give you more room to do different things when they're playing as well as they are?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, I mean, it's always difficult to deal with me. I think it adds even more when you have two All-Stars with you, two guys that command multiple eyes any possession. They're so in such a great rhythm right now, I've been able to just pick my spots and do other things to help us try to win ballgames while those guys take the load. Tonight was an example of them giving me a little bit more space, and I just tried to make some plays.

Q. Kyrie, you continue to lead this team in scoring, but also when you look over and see Kyle Lowry and 4 of 14 again tonight, the all-around game you're playing, is this because we're seeing a 100-percent healthy finally Kyrie Irving?
KYRIE IRVING: Well, this is the highest level of basketball, that I've been waiting to play for a while. I used the regular season to get back in great shape and have a great rhythm coming into the playoffs. I just was continuing and continuing to prepare and prepare for those moments that we're in now. I think we echo it between one another, but living in the moment and being prepared for it is echoes in the same sentence for me. I just want to come out and play well for my teammates, and it starts with our preparation on off days and shootaround. I just think we do a great job of having each other's backs, and it just makes our job a lot easier out there. We know what to expect. But this is high-intensity basketball that we've all been waiting for, and to all be healthy at the same time and doing whatever it takes to win. This is what we want to be part of and we've been waiting for. We missed out on our chance last year and I think we're relishing the moment and we just want to continue that going forward.

Q. LeBron, you guys are 10-0 in the playoffs, but the regular season ended April 13th. Today is May 20th. That's a lot of time over the course of those games. Does it feel like a streak because of the nature of the time that's been passed, and if it's not a streak, then what does it take to really sustain that level because of the length in between series?
LeBRON JAMES: I don't think it feels like a streak. I think it feels like we won one game. We won the next game, and how do we prepare and be better the following game. We've taken one step at a time. We haven't overlooked any steps along this process thus far, and I think that's part of the reason we're in this position today. We have to be much better, obviously, in Game 3, going into a very hostile environment, going in there where they're extremely loud. They play well, they play faster. But we've enjoyed the process to this point, and once we got to it, we've tried to take care of business, and then once it's over, we want to learn from that instance and move on and see how we can get better the next time.

Q. LeBron, last postseason you averaged 42 minutes. In The Finals it was even more. I remember there was one game where the guys sitting next to you were both injured. In terms of how your body feels and your energy levels, is this the best you've felt at this stage of a postseason during this six-year run you've had, and what do you attribute it to?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, it's hard to say. Obviously last year there were no excuses even with these two guys out, and for me personally and the rest of the guys, we gave it everything that we had. So I didn't feel sorry for myself, didn't feel sorry for any of my teammates. We didn't feel sorry for nothing because we gave everything that we had.

As far as my body, I've been telling guys all year, this is the best I've felt in a while, and I've been able to do things outside of the game that kind of help me, and then when I get to the game, obviously you have two guys like this to help you. It takes a lot of everything off of you when you have two All-Stars that can do great things.

Q. You do seem to be playing at a different gear sometimes than everybody else on the floor. You look so fresh, and I'm wondering if the things that you did during the break, as you put it, I'm not resting during the break, what effect are you seeing of the work you put in during the break to the kind of energy that you have in these games?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, I think it's a collective workload that we all put on each other throughout the break. Like I said, Coach Lue gave us one day off, and that was the game after the Sunday game in Atlanta. I believe we got Monday off, and from that point on, we all worked together just to mentally prepare our bodies, physically prepare our bodies, waiting around to see who we were going to face in the next round, but we just stayed on top of each other, trying to understand, and how can we learn from the Detroit series when we swept to the next round.

We've all put in our individual work. When we're not at our practice facility, and then when we all get together, we just combine it all and just try to make the most of it.

Q. You have great respect for a lot of the legends that have come before you. What did it mean tonight to pass Shaq on the all-time scoring list for the postseason, and also, you ran into Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I was wondering how that talk with Kareem went.
LeBRON JAMES: Well, first of all, for me being in a position where -- it just always takes me back to my childhood and watching so many of the greats playing basketball and saying I wish I could be a part of that or at times saying there's no way I could be a part of such a great league, there's no way. Just the statistics don't look right for me as an African-American kid growing up in the inner city. I played both sides of the fence as a kid growing up.

To be in this position today where I see my name linked to a lot of the greats that have played this game and paved the way for myself and Kyrie and Kev, it means a lot. It's very humbling. It's an opportunity for my family to be proud, for my fans to be proud, so that's just a lot of respect with that.

I was actually, to your second question, jogging into the locker room like we usually do off the floor, and obviously I saw a legend outside of our locker room, and I slowed my pace up drastically just to embrace a legend being in our building, watching us play. What he did for the game, the championship runs that he had with the "Showtime" Lakers and him being the all-time leading scorer in NBA history and so on and so on and so on, it's just respect. When you see a guy like that, when you put him in a class with like Jim Brown and Muhammad Ali and Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, those guys all laying that same thing, Bill Russell. It was a pretty cool moment.

Q. Your shoulder, I don't know if you took a hit on it at some point. I assume you're fine; just walk through what happened there.
KEVIN LOVE: Yeah, I'm good. I don't really know what else to say. These guys are giving me a hard time.

No, I feel healthy, feel good.

LeBRON JAMES: Elaborate.

KEVIN LOVE: I went into a pick-and-roll with Shump. Shump passed me the ball, I went out, got fouled, got a little stinger, knocked down my free throws. I feel fine. I'm good. Thanks.

Q. Kevin, I know you've played on a lot of great teams, international teams, as well, but when you get up and are dominating like the way you have in these last couple of games and really all the Playoffs, can you sense a deflating feeling in the opponent?
KEVIN LOVE: Not really. I feel like anything can happen in the playoffs, as you saw last year. You have to have a little bit of luck on your side in some ways knowing that it could be taken away from you at any moment. You saw that last year, Game 4 of the quarterfinals against Boston. I went down, Kyrie went down in Game 1. We had a few guys that were roughed up throughout, played through some minor injuries, and played well. But no, it's just -- just want to continue to be in a great rhythm, not think about that too much, and go out there. It's not our job to think about what their mindset is. We want to come out and we want to dominate every single game.

Q. Kevin, has it dawned upon you that you guys haven't lost together as a healthy unit? Is that something you've ever thought about, the fact that going back to last year you guys haven't lost a single game with you guys in the playoffs?
KEVIN LOVE: Yeah, I mean, it's something that's been well-documented, but as Bron said, after last game, we're not here to just win nine games, now it being 10. We want to take it to the top, so that's not necessarily something that we're thinking about. We just want to take it game by game and continue to play well. We've got another tough game, tough environment coming up in Toronto. Hopefully we can get to another level and play better.

Q. There were some Canadians on social media that were kind of hoping that you guys would get stopped at the border on your way to Canada. Number one, are your passports up to date, and number two, what are you expecting from the Canadian fans?
LeBRON JAMES: We're good. We've got Tristan on our team. (Laughter).

Q. Passports, are we up to date?
LeBRON JAMES: We don't need them. We've got Tristan.

Q. LeBron, what has Ty Lue done best and what has he meant to this team?
LeBRON JAMES: I think it's just the even-keel mentality that he has. He's always preaching next play. Just always next play. We come to a timeout, no matter what's going on in the game, he just continues to breed confidence and talk confidence to us, the unit that's on the floor, the unit that's off the floor. Just a sense of calmness. The game is so fast. The possessions come so fast. There are a lot of things going on in between the game, and when you come to a timeout or whatever before the game or at halftime, there's just a sense of calmness. T-Lue has been great for us as the captain of this ship, and us as the soldiers or whatever you want to tell us or call us on the boat, we're just trying to follow his lead and execute it the right way.

Q. Kyrie, it seems like the first two games have been played at your guys' pace. Do you agree with that, and how important do you feel like pace is --
KYRIE IRVING: Can you repeat that?

Q. The pace so far in the first two games seems like it's been played at your guys' style. How important is that and how much of a responsibility do you hold to make sure it stays that way?
KYRIE IRVING: It's vital. It's just being echoed before the game, during the game, even after the game, just that that pace we want to play at is just a different level, and we want kind of the Raptors to play our style of play, whether that be in the half court, hard screens, being physical offensively and defensively. When we're getting our run in, it starts with our defense, and myself or Bron are pushing on the break, or you even saw Kevin pushing it one time. It's just really fun to play that way when you're getting stops. That's where it starts, and that's our staple. That's where we want to make our mark, on the defensive end, and once we settled into tonight's game, it just made it a lot easier on ourselves getting out in transition. We didn't necessarily get up a lot of threes in transition, but we stayed in the paint. We just want to continue with that pace, and these guys do a great job of coming in at halftime and telling me to keep up the pace, and continuing to hammer it home.

Q. Kyrie, what happened early on with Biyombo? Seemed like he threw an elbow at you, and then the game did seem just tense and chippy early and things kind of mellowed. Was there any particular mellowing factor?
KYRIE IRVING: No, just emotions high, running high, intense game. My team has my back, and I'm pretty sure those guys have their back. It's part of the game. It's just part of the playoffs. We're in the Eastern Conference Finals. I expect nothing less. I'm never going to back down to anyone. I know my teammates echo the same thing. And they have the same attitude. It doesn't matter who it is. We're going to have each other's backs.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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