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June 12, 2017

Kyrie Irving

Oakland, California: Postgame

Warriors - 129, Cavaliers - 120

Q. When you in the moment now reflect on this series, how do you view the gap between you guys and the Warriors?
KYRIE IRVING: You feel obviously the disappointment of losing, a lot of decisions that you'll replay over throughout the summer. You can forget this feeling, but they beat us fair and square, and you have to give them credit.

Got to talk to a few of the guys after the game, Klay, Steph, K.D., a few other guys, and just congratulate them, because they beat us fair and square. And you got to give credit when credit is due.

No malice, emotions from our end, just obviously we're disappointed, it was a long year. This has been probably the longest year and a half of my life, hands down. So just a test of will, a lot of individual adversity as well as collective adversity that leads all up to this moment.

You don't come out on the successful side, still it's no time to wallow in any sorrows or anything like that, just congratulate the other team like we did and then we move on.

Q. You mentioned it being a long year and a half for you, game No. 100 of the Cavs' season, if you add post-season and the regular season. Were you playing through anything tonight outside of the wear and tear of all those games accumulated?
KYRIE IRVING: Man, after I hit my dang knee on the floor, after that my low back started to tighten up. And as the fourth quarter started to happen, a lot of shots and layups that I normally make, they just weren't falling. So that kind of took the wind out of my sails.

But it was other things that kind of led up to that moment for us for them to create that separation in the lead. You don't want to create any excuses for just being beat fair and square. They're a great team, and they did that. They took away some things that were working for us in the first half, and then in the second half they were a little bit more physical.

But it was just overall a great series. I don't want any type of excuse or anything backing between the Warriors beating us fair and square. I've never been that type of person. So, no, I was fine. It's The Finals, so obviously everyone is hurt, but you just got to raise up your mental and physical attitude and just go out there and play, which we did tonight, but we didn't come out on the successful end.

Q. When you lose to a team fair and square, as you said, all losses are hard, obviously, but does it become easier to digest this one because of the way that the series went?
KYRIE IRVING: It's never easy to digest any loss. We lost, so obviously there's some positive things that you could take from it, but there's nothing to easily digest or anything like that. The next thing that I'm looking forward to is getting these couple weeks off and then we get right back to it. So that's just the grind of the game, and things that happen within the game, you let go, you leave them where they stand and you collect the troops up again and we get ready to go do this thing again.

So they have an incredible team. They beat us, but I'm pretty sure we'll be back and we'll be ready to battle again.

Q. Even though tonight was the clincher, how much are you going to reflect when you think back on this series? How much are you going to reflect on Game 3?
KYRIE IRVING: What do you mean? Just what I would take away from it?

Q. Yeah.
KYRIE IRVING: The reflection process will come in its totality of the whole entire series. You want to kind of put a reasoning behind like, okay, if we win Game 3, maybe this is a different series, but if we don't take care of it in the moment, then we picked ourselves back up, we battled in Game 4, we came back to San Francisco, we tried to set another goal in order to get back to Cleveland and play at home, but we didn't accomplish that.

So, like I said, you just pick yourself back up and you keep pushing and you keep going. And it's fueling me inside right now, I can feel it. I'll talk to all my teammates, look them in the eye and tell them that I'm proud of them because it was an unbelievable season. We dealt with a [expletive] ton of adversity, excuse my language, but, I mean, the daily evolution of what can you accomplish on a day-to-day basis when you are around so many different individuals that makes up an organization, I mean, there's so many moving parts and I couldn't be more proud to be part of an even better organization, including my teammates that I'm around constantly every day.

So you just -- a few things, takeaways that can you take away from the series, but the only room to go is to grow from here.

Q. Reflect, if you can, on these last three years with LeBron, what you've seen, the magnitude of his performances and specifically this Finals where he's averaging a triple-double.
KYRIE IRVING: Man, that guy is -- I think that some people would say that he's on the toe of -- like he's on the line of greatness. But that guy is way over. Man, he's freaking awesome. As a student of the game, it would be a disservice to myself if I didn't try to learn as much as possible while I'm playing with this guy. Every single day demanding more out of himself, demanding more out of us, the true testament of a consummate professional. And understanding how things work, not only just in the game but off the court, things that matter, just taking care of your body, understanding the magnitude of what the goal is at hand and what steps it takes in order to achieve that goal.

You can't skip any steps. And that was one thing that I came to understand, because as a young player you want everything to happen right now. And Bron's been in this league for a while now, and he's seen every which way from on the court, to off the court, to dealing with some of you guys, to dealing with the whole world of just choosing a side. Whether you want to believe in him or not, he's still coming.

And that's the type of guy that I want to be with every single time I'm going to war, because I know what to expect, and you stand your ground, too, with a leader like that. You don't want to take a step back. You move to the front line with a guy like that, and you want to bring your game up to another level.

That's what I'm going to continue to do, because I know that if we continue to be with one another and keep utilizing one another, man, the sky's the limit. So, I've learned a lot and I will continue to, and I couldn't be more proud of that guy. He left it all out there on the floor, and to average a triple-double in the freaking Finals, man, add that to the LeBron long list that everyone keeps forgetting.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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