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May 21, 2017

LeBron James

Tristan Thompson

Boston, Massachusetts: Postgame

Celtics - 111, Cavaliers - 108

Q. You guys were up 21 points. What happened? What factors led to Boston coming back at you?
LeBRON JAMES: Momentum. We didn't continue to press the tempo. Marcus Smart started to hit a lot of threes. They started to get momentum, and that's what happens -- you give a team a life. They played so freely without IT, and they just made play after play after play, and we couldn't weather the storm.

Q. You had a tough second half with just three points. What were some of the factors that led to that? Were you as aggressive as you wanted to be?
LeBRON JAMES: I had a tough game, period. Not just in the second half. Me personally, I didn't have it. My teammates did a great job of keeping us in the game, building that lead. But me personally, I didn't have it. That's all I've got to say about my performance.

Q. Was there a sense of surprise or shock or what have you in the locker room afterward, just given how well the first two games had gone and that Isaiah was out?
LeBRON JAMES: No, it's never that. We've been playing so well, but like I said, you let a team grab momentum like that, you almost knew that that last shot was going to go in. It was like, you already knew. As soon as the ball went out his hands, you kind of knew that shot was going to go in because of how the game was just played throughout the second half.

Q. Did they mix up the coverage on you from what you had seen in the first two games?
LeBRON JAMES: No, no, they didn't mix up the coverage. They did a good job of sprinting back, leveling to the ball, doubling me a little bit more in the post. But like I said, my performance personally was all on me.

Q. Tristan, what's most disappointing given the way you guys played in the first two games and throughout the playoffs? What's most disappointing about this one tonight?
TRISTAN THOMPSON: First of all, you've got to give Boston a lot of credit. They moved the ball exceptionally well tonight, especially with IT out. Whenever you haven't played home in half a month, you want to come out and pull a full 48 for your fans and for yourself personally. I give them credit. They played well. We've got to be better.

Q. Tristan, when LeBron has a night that's atypical, how do you guys respond as teammates as the game is going on?
TRISTAN THOMPSON: They threw different looks at him, but we've got to get better as teammates. We've got to pick it up and play better. But it wasn't about the scoring. We scored enough points to win the ballgame. It was defensively. It doesn't matter what Bron's numbers were tonight. Defensively, we've got to be better. It starts with multiple efforts, taking the challenge one-on-one and making those adjustments and just playing harder.

Q. LeBron, kind of off that, defensively, what went wrong in that end of the third quarter through the end of the fourth quarter defensively?
LeBRON JAMES: I mean, a lot of things went wrong. I don't know; I can't play the game right back in my head right now, and I'm looking forward to seeing the film tomorrow when we get together. But they moved the ball, like Double-T said -- 28 assists -- and they kept us at bay. We couldn't get stops. We couldn't get out in transition a lot. Those guys made plays. They made a lot of plays. They got some second-chance points. We only had two fast-break points, so they neutralized what we wanted to do.

Q. You said your game, couldn't get into a rhythm tonight. Is that what it was based on their defense or just not feeling it or what?
LeBRON JAMES: No, I was just pretty poor. I mean, what do you want me to say?

Q. LeBron, what do you take from this game going forward into Tuesday night?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, we're going to crack down on the film tomorrow, for sure. We've got to be a lot better. It's the postseason. You win some, you lose a couple, maybe, but how can you be better from game to game? And like I said, they was better today than we were, and we've got to figure out how to be better than them in Game 4. But we look forward to the challenge. I think it's great -- what happened hurts. It's a loss in the postseason. But I'm glad it kind of hurt, that it happened the way it did -- let our foot off the gas a little bit, didn't keep the pressure on them like we have been accustomed to. But we have to play a lot better in Game 4.

Q. LeBron, the Celtics scored seven points on ATOs in the final minute. What makes this team harder than almost any team in the league trying to stop them --
LeBRON JAMES: I said that before the series even started about Brad Stevens' ATOs. If you go back and look at my transcript, I said he's very good out of ATOs. He has so many different wrinkles, misdirection, thinking the ball is going this way, he has a misdirection going the other way. You've got to kind of keep your head on a swivel. He has a lot of packages. So you can plan for a few, but then he might run something you've never seen before. If we communicate a little bit better out of timeouts, it'll put us in position to be more successful against that.

Q. Coach Lue pretty kind of pinned it on the fourth-quarter turnovers. Was that more your lack of concentration or their hustle?
LeBRON JAMES: A little bit of both. A little bit of carelessness. I had one when Kev ducked in, I should have faked high, bounced low. But I just threw it, and that lets me know I didn't have it tonight. Jae Crowder got his hands on it. We had a couple more turnovers where we just were either overpassing or overthinking or whatever the case may be. That definitely resulted in us not being as fluent as we've been offensively.

Q. What did you mean a minute ago when you said you were kind of glad it happened the way that it did?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, I feel some adversity is all part of the postseason. I feel like you have to have some type of adversity in order to be successful. If it was going to happen, let it happen now; let us regroup. Let us regroup and all the narrative and everything that was going on, let's regroup and let's get back to playing desperate basketball, which they did tonight. So we've got to be a lot better, for sure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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