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May 21, 2016

LeBron James

J.R. Smith

Toronto, Ontario: Game Three

Toronto - 99, Cleveland - 84

Q. LeBron, after Game 1, you were talking and you said that at some point, adversity would come up and you thought you guys would be ready to handle it. Losing a game in the playoffs, does that rise to the level of adversity?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, first of all, I give a lot of credit to Toronto. They played an exceptional game tonight. We didn't play our game, and they made us pay for it. I mean, it is a little adversity. Why not? It's the postseason, and you lose a game. This is our first loss of the postseason. I would count it as a little adversity.

We've got to go back to the drawing board, not fix everything, just fix a few things, and be much better on Monday. Obviously we weren't as great as we've been tonight.

Q. LeBron, without having seen film, what were some of the reasons that you were not on your game tonight as a team?
LeBRON JAMES: I think early on at the start of the game we weren't as physical as we should have been, especially coming into a building that we knew we had to be a little bit more physical. Understanding they were going to play with a lot of speed, a lot of force, so we didn't start the game as physical as we should have at the point of attack.

Also I think we lost track of some of our keys that we came into the game with, allowed us to kind of get sidetracked throughout the course of the game. Then in the second quarter, our second-quarter lineup didn't do a great job of paying attention to detail, and they was able to bust the game open and score 33 points in that second quarter. They had 39 for the whole second half. Allowing them to score 60 in the first half is not the type of game that we want to play.

Q. J.R., you guys were trailing by as many as 18 I think in the second quarter, but did you feel like this was a game that you could come back in, and at what point did you really feel like it actually got away?
J.R. SMITH: I really honestly didn't feel like it got away until we came out in the fourth. Whenever we're on the court, no matter what the deficit is, I think we have a chance to come back. We have the pieces and the weapons to do that. Just a matter of staying focused mentally and just locking in. Like Bron said, we got a little lax in the first quarter to start the game, and they got too many easy buckets. We've just got to make them work harder on Monday.

Q. LeBron, Kyrie [Irving] and Kevin [Love] both struggled tonight shooting, looked like for different reasons. How do you evaluate how they played and how much more does that put on you when they struggle shooting the ball like they did?
LeBRON JAMES: I think it's good for them. It's good for them. First little adversity, first individually in a long time, and I think it's good for them. I think they'll be much better obviously on Monday, but it's good for them. When someone is not shooting the ball extremely well, obviously we don't want two of our big guys not to shoot the ball -- it's going to be difficult for us to pull the game out like that. Even though with our shooting in the 30s, it was still a five-point game at one point in the third quarter. But we know they'll be much better. J.R. did a great job of trying to pick the slack up for both Kyrie and for Kev. Channing [Frye] tried as well and I did as well. But those guys will be better. They'll watch the film, and they'll be much better on Monday.

Q. The Raptors were saying that tonight Bismack was sort of their energy guy and that's sort of the role he plays on this team. What did you think of the performance he had tonight?
LeBRON JAMES: That's what he's been at home and every playoff and every regular-season game. We understand he feeds off the crowd, but he's also a huge impact on the glass at home. He gives them a lot of energy, he gives them a lot of second-chance points. He had eight offensive rebounds. He cleaned up the glass on all of our misses in the first half. I think he had at one point 14 rebounds and no points. The guy just stays in his lane. He definitely gave them a boost tonight.

Q. Bismack Biyombo is doing some of the Dikembe Mutombo finger wagging from years ago. When you see him do that, what kind of reaction do both of you have?
LeBRON JAMES: Same way you've got right now. We don't really have a reaction. He has a great block, we're trying to get back on defense. We're not watching him wave his finger. But he probably admires him. We all take something from somebody. If I shoot a fadeaway, I got it from MJ. Throw a no-look pass, I get it from Magic. He [J.R. Smith] shoots fadeaway threes, I don't know where he gets those from. We all admire somebody, so it's no big deal.

Q. LeBron, your normal response to physical play is to kind of dust yourself off and move on to the next play and avoid retaliation. At what point does that change, could that change?
LeBRON JAMES: That's a great question. You know, obviously teams and a lot of players are kind of taking it a little bit. At the end of the day, I'm important to this team. I can't afford to react in any kind of way that will get me thrown out of a game, but I will protect myself. I will protect myself. When I was in high school, I got low-bridged playing in an AAU tournament as a junior in high school. A kid just low-bridged me and I fell and broke my wrist. That kind of thought always plays in my mind either when I'm getting thrown to the ground or if it's a borderline dirty play. I always think back to the Jay Z phrase and a line he had: "If I shoot you, then I'm brainless; if you shoot me, you're famous. What am I to do?" That always plays in my head. Every time I feel like I want to react, I've got to keep my brain.

Q. There were a lot of hard fouls out there, but that little skirmish before the end of the first half, it looked like -- did you realize who hit you, and was it as bad as it looked or were you maybe trying to sell a call a little bit?
LeBRON JAMES: I'm not trying to sell a call. I got hit with an elbow. I didn't know from my own teammate. I thought it was DeMarre [Carroll], but I watched the replay, it was from my teammate. So no -- sell a call for what? There was no call there to be sold. That's it. I was going to say something else to you, but I'm going to leave it alone.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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