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June 6, 2017

LeBron James

Cleveland, Ohio: Practice Day

Q. Of course you guys are back home. You played fantastically in the first two games, but you're down 2-0. How frustrating it is for you to be here down 2-0, despite you playing so great?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, I wouldn't say frustrated. Just you never want to be down 2-0 in a series against anybody. So we had some things that we need to do better obviously from Game 1 and Game 2 to get Game 3 tomorrow, and we look forward to the challenge once again.

We know it's a tall challenge for us, but it's a great moment to be a part of, so we look forward to what tomorrow brings.

Q. Do you think for you personally it would be better to play even better, if it's possible, because you're playing so good or inspire your teammates to elevate their games?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, at the end of the day there's other things that I can do better and hope that I can do better to help this team be successful. It is my leadership, and try to use my inspiration to help the guys as well.

So we all have a job to do, and we want to all try to do it even better than we can at times. So if I can give a little bit more, then I will. But I leave everything that I have out on the floor every night, so I'm always satisfied with the way I play.

Q. You guys faced the exact same 2-0 deficit a year ago when you came back to Cleveland. How, if at all, does this 2-0 deficit feel different than the one you faced a year ago?
LEBRON JAMES: I don't know, I don't remember how I felt last year being down 2-0. That's last year and I don't even know the feeling anymore. So just mentally I'm just mentally strengthening my mind and getting my mind ready and focused on what tomorrow's going to bring, and so I look forward to it.

Q. You've said that the biggest difference between the Warriors last year and this year is K.D. You've told us that. How does that change the dynamic of this series for a team that's coming home down 2-0?
LEBRON JAMES: No, it doesn't change anything. We got to protect home. It starts with tomorrow. One game at a time, one possession at a time, and cleaning up on some of the miscues that we have had in the first couple games and not have as many.

Q. This is kind of similar to that, but this is two years in a row where you guys have trailed pretty much the entire series against this team. Obviously you caught them at the end last year, but does it take a mental toll on you to constantly be playing from behind against this team in a seven-game series?
LEBRON JAMES: I don't know. It takes a mental toll just when you lose. No matter if it's a series or game or whatever the case may be, in the post-season any loss always takes a mental toll on you. But how can you refocus your mind, how can you refuel it to understand that at the end of the day it is a series. So you got to try to focus on the next game and focus on your job and what you can do to help your team be successful going into the following game.

Q. You've always said that throughout your career things never came easy, you always had to go the hard route, hard path. With this situation right here that you're in, do you feel like this is not comfortable territory but territory that you're accustomed to?
LEBRON JAMES: Yeah, it's something I am accustomed to. It's something that I feel like is -- that it's okay for me to kind of always go back and know that I can refocus. I can get my guys ready, get myself ready. But you hate to continue to put yourself in these positions, but at the end of the day it's still just basketball, man, and that's what gives me comfortable and I'm more comfortable about it because it's just a game. I prepare myself, I'm going to go out and do my job and live with the results.

Q. I know you want to get guys involved and you need to get guys involved offensively. Is that harder to do, though, at this point in the series when you're down 2-0 and you probably need to be more aggressive?
LEBRON JAMES: I don't really know. I never really understood that question as far as my game. I play my game and I don't change it no matter what the series is, I don't change it what the course of the day is, I don't change it what the score is. I just play my game.

My game is being aggressive. My game is getting my guys involved. My game is getting into the paint, shooting some outside shots when they're available. But my game is -- it is what it is. So it's not going to change because a series -- I'm down 2-0 or up 2-0. It's going to be the same.

Q. A lot of people say, though, the one thing you guys could do is slow the game down. Is that easier said than done, and how do you do it against a team that runs like they do?
LEBRON JAMES: That's not our game. We don't play slowdown basketball.

Q. That was my question, can you afford to play at this fast pace, because it seems to favor them? If you don't believe that this series has been played at their pace so far, what -- well, do you feel the series has been played at their pace?
LEBRON JAMES: We play at our pace. We play our game. We got to this point playing our way. We have won a lot of games playing the way we play, so we're not going to change.

Q. You said that it's just a game and it's basketball, right? Can the rest of the guys playing in their home arena, can it -- can you kind of forget about the pageantry and the stage and just fall into playing a basketball game? Is it easier to do at home?
LEBRON JAMES: For myself, I can only speak for myself, I don't know what -- I mean, for me, like I said, no matter win, lose, or draw, if you give everything you got to the game and you prepare yourself mentally, physically, you do your job, then there's nothing to be afraid of the moment for, there's nothing to be disappointed or about the game or how the outcome is. If you prepare yourself, then you can be okay with the outcome. I mean I can. I speak for myself.

Q. It seems like the Warriors in the third quarter, the differential's been pretty big and the runs that they go on after you guys cut it to so close, they can just go up in the snap of a finger. What's the best way you can just kind of not allow that to happen, I guess?
LEBRON JAMES: Take great shots and not turn the ball over. We had an opportunity, last game, we cut it to four, and then they made a couple plays here, I think. If I remember, it was -- I think it was 86-82, they come out, I did a stupid strip foul on Livingston, he hits two free throws, we come down and turn the ball over, and then they hit a three and it went from a four-point game to a 10-point game that fast. So just can't make bad plays against a team that's that great.

Q. You also said that you want to get Kyrie Irving going early, kind of like how you guys did with Kevin for those first two games. What's the best way you can do that for him?
LEBRON JAMES: I think he does a great job of it as well, but it's just some of the sets that we call, and that's just -- you can say it, you can put him in position to be successful, and we just try to lay bodies on his guys that's guarding him, make -- if he's open, just get him the ball on time, on target, and let his talent take over from there.

Q. There's been talk obviously here about pace, and there's been some chatter about maybe a change with Iman for JR. How do you sort of balance the need to adapt to the situation versus trusting who you've been all year?
LEBRON JAMES: Yeah, I mean, some of these questions are kind of out of my hands, as far as when you talk about lineup changes and what y'all should do offensively. I'm one of the players on the team. I'm a big piece of the team, I know that, but I'm not in control of who should be in inserted into the lineup, who shouldn't be.

I think we have all trusted each other, we have all been in position where we trust each other out on the floor. And whoever is on the floor has to do their job, and we trust that they will do their job. So we look forward, like I said, to whatever our coaching staff has planned for us tomorrow night.

Q. If there is one thing, one aspect that you can change for Game 3, Tyronn Lue said this would be defensively, what's your opinion?
LEBRON JAMES: We just want to continue to play how we did in Game 2. I thought we were much more physical, we had bodies on bodies and we have to do that against those guys, because if we let them run free, then they are even that more dangerous.

So like I said, if we do a good job of not turning the ball over and forcing turnovers like we did in Game 3, that will put us in a lot better position as well and just continue to get contesting their shots. They do make a lot of contested shots, and some of those we can live with, but some of the ones that we can't live with or we don't have a hand in or we give them open looks or things of that nature or messing up on communication on some of our defensive sets, but if we -- we have a great game plan, and if can follow that for the full 48 minutes, then we give ourselves a great chance to win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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