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June 16, 2016

Tyronn Lue

Cleveland, Ohio: Game Six

Cleveland 115, Golden State 101

Q. How would you describe what LeBron James did tonight, especially as he was getting more and more tired in the fourth quarter and yet seemed to be doing more and more to keep you guys ahead in this game?
TYRONN LUE: I don't think he got tired (laughing). I thought he was great. He said he felt good. With our season on the line, at the end of the third quarter he said, "I'm not coming out." I didn't have any intention on taking him out anyway. I don't care what y'all say. We're going to ride him.

He had another unbelievable game. That's what we expect of LeBron, and that's what he's been doing his whole career. So, one more game, and we need another one out of him.

Q. How would you describe your approach to defend Curry? What did you tell your team going into this game?
TYRONN LUE: Just had to be aware. We can't be surprised when he shoots five or six feet behind the three-point line. He can make those shots. He does it consistently, so we've just always got to be aware. He has a quick trigger and he'll shoot it from anywhere. I thought a few times we let our guards down and we got caught by surprise because he shot it five feet from behind the three-point line.

So just locking into him and being more aware of him and Klay.

Q. Now you have won two games in a row against Golden State. We know it's hard to win a game in The Finals and you have proven you guys can win on their court. So do you think you have built greater momentum in the championship run?
TYRONN LUE: I just thought we stuck with our game plan, being aggressive and physical defensively, and I thought being aggressive offensively attacking. I thought in the second quarter we got away from it. We kind of slowed the ball down in the second quarter, which made us stagnant and made us get some shot-clock violations, getting late to the shot clock. But for the most part I thought we did a great job, just continued to attack in transition, in the half court, and make them guard us.

Q. Ty, can you talk about your decision to put the ball primarily in LeBron's hands and what that does for your team?
TYRONN LUE: Well, it does a lot. Kyrie is special and he can score the basketball at will, and also make the right pass and right play. Then down the stretch we decided to put the ball in LeBron's hands, let him facilitate, get guys open shots because we had a lot of shooting on the perimeter, and it opened up the floor for LeBron to get into the paint, score some, and also distribute.

Q. Including the first two games of this series, two bad losses, 0-7 against the Warriors, and now three out of four; kind of a total reversal of fortunes, 30-point win, 15. Today was really a 20-point win. What do you attribute this whole thing to? Including the win on the road and now you go back there, how do you just account for all of this, this kind of a turnaround?
TYRONN LUE: Just our guys' fight and our determination, and never wanting to give in. You know, we had two shaky games in Golden State to start the series, and you know, you can always prepare for them, but until you get in between those lines and see how fast they move, how hard they cut, how hard they play, you really can't get a gauge for it. So I thought Game 1 was, you know, was that test for us. Then Game 2, just kind of got away from us.

This team has been fighting all season. We've been through a lot of adversity, even though during the Playoffs we started off 10-0. We've still been through a lot of adversity this year, this season, and our guys are fighters. Kept fighting, kept doing the right things and continued to execute the game plan and that is attack.

Q. What have you learned about yourself as a coach in this series that you didn't know about yourself already? And is there any one guy that you were with throughout your career that you can attribute this calmness to your demeanor with this basketball club?
TYRONN LUE: Well, everything I do is Doc Rivers driven. He taught me everything as far as being a coach, giving me my first chance to coach. But just the poise from my first three seasons of being in L.A. with Phil Jackson and just saw how he in practice, he's teaching, he's coaching, he's on the floor. But when the game started, he was always poised and he let the guys figure it out. I think that meant a lot to me just seeing that because as players, if you're sitting on the bench and you hear coaches talking about certain players on the floor or getting mad or getting upset, you realize they say the same thing about you when you go in the game.

I just think it's important to stay poised. Guys are going to make mistakes. It's part of the game. But the effort that can always be there, the unselfishness, that can always be there. So I just attribute the calmness to Phil Jackson and just seeing as a player what works and what doesn't.

Q. Each game that you've won there's been that third scorer with the exception of last game, when they went off for 82. But tonight it was Tristan Thompson. What's it mean to you and your team when that third scorer helps carry the load?
TYRONN LUE: Well, it means a lot. I thought J.R. gave us a good bump also. Kyrie and LeBron were special. Kevin came out with the right mindset because he got two early fouls and could never get in a rhythm. I thought he made a big three for us, some good switches and some post-ups that he was aggressive on, got fouled. But he could never quite find his rhythm after he got those two early fouls.

You know, when we get the third and fourth scorer to step up, we're really hard to beat because we know two of the big three are going to play good every night.

Q. Having said that, 41 and 41 in back-to-back games for LeBron, how do you describe that?
TYRONN LUE: It's LeBron being LeBron. He's one of the greatest of all times. Our back was against the wall and he took it upon himself in the last couple games, himself and Kyrie, to really put this team on their backs and really get us to where we're trying to get to and that's a Game 7 in Golden State.

Q. Coach, jumping on Kenny's question, Tristan played really well, not just on the boards, but it seemed that he was rolling to the basket and finding open spaces and getting into positions where people could find him. Could you talk about that part of his game?
TYRONN LUE: Well, the last few days we've really been working on getting to the right spots because they do a great job of protecting the elbows and boxes and loading up. So really the last two or three days we really have focused in on Tristan being in the right spots because he's very important to what we're trying to do. And defensively being able to switch one through five with him is great for us, so we need him on the floor.

I thought tonight he really got to his spots and really was in the right position every night, and LeBron and those guys could find him when he was open.

Q. Would you also say his physicality was the key to the game?
TYRONN LUE: Oh, his physicality every night. Guarding one through five, on the glass every night, and just, you know, he brings a physicality to this game every single night. He's the heart and soul of our team.

Q. How long were you sitting on Dahntay Jones? It was quite an impactful two minutes that he played. Why was tonight the right time to pull that curveball?
TYRONN LUE: Well, they were big at the time with at the guard spot, and a lot of guys had gotten in foul trouble. RJ had three, Kevin had three, Shump had three. So our next big body that can bring a physicality to the game and a defensive presence was Dahntay.

That's a long-time friend of mine and it just felt good to see him get in in such a crucial part of the game. With two and a half minutes to go in the half and you haven't played all series, you haven't played all game, and to come in and contribute the way he did, scoring five points in two minutes and just being aggressive defensively, rebounding the basketball, boxing Draymond out, I thought it was fantastic.

Q. Switching topics really quick, did Kyrie twist his foot? It looked like he might have hurt his foot a little bit, and your thoughts on his performance tonight and if he was playing on a bad foot?
TYRONN LUE: He just tweaked it a little bit, but he's going to be fine. His performance was great. He really got us off to a great start in that first half. 20 points I think he had in the first half. And 6-for-12 from the field, getting to the free-throw line and attacking, and last game he had 22 points in transition of just pushing the basketball early offense, and getting to his spot.

So I thought he really did a great job of setting the tone for us early in that first half, and then LeBron brought us home in the second half.

Q. They had made that run to cut it to 9 at the end of the third quarter. Klay had a couple of threes and a little fury. What did you say and what was said in the huddle going into the fourth to keep poise at that spot?
TYRONN LUE: Well, they're a great team. They didn't win 73 games for no reason. They're going to make some shots. They're going to make some runs. That's just who they are. They've always been that way. But it's our job to try to minimize those runs. I thought the guys did a great job coming out of the timeout. Just being focused, regaining our focus, and then coming out and increasing the lead again to 16, 17 points.

So, the guys hung with it. They didn't drop their heads. We know they're going to make runs and we were able to sustain it tonight.

Q. Ty, we've talked a little bit about this throughout the year, about this idea of winning one for Cleveland and no major titles in 52 years whatever it is. And you guys have always kind of put that to the side that it's not about that for this team --
TYRONN LUE: It's not about what?

Q. That the pressure of winning one for the city is not what's on your shoulders.
TYRONN LUE: It's on everybody's shoulders. The city of Cleveland, the state of Ohio, our Cleveland Cavaliers team, the organization, it's on everybody's shoulders. We want to win. So I mean, I wouldn't say we never thought about that. We want to win it for the city of Cleveland.

Q. Well, there's been times throughout the year that that's come up and guys would say, that's not at the forefront of our minds. I'm just wondering if you felt that at all tonight in Game 6 just with the crowd and all?
TYRONN LUE: I mean, they gave it to us. Our crowd really gave it to us. In Game 3 I think, standing up the whole game, just being around the city and walking around, just the love and appreciation that we get around here, and then the fans tonight were unbelievable. So when they came back and cut that lead to 8, the fans stayed engaged. They never wavered, and we want to give the city of Cleveland a championship. We want to give the state of Ohio a championship. We want to give the Cleveland organization a championship. So that's what we're all about, and that's what we're trying to do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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