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May 21, 2018

Tyronn Lue

Cleveland, Ohio: Game Four

Cavaliers - 111, Celtics - 102

Q. The third quarter has been obviously your Achilles heel in the regular season and postseason. Boston cut it to eight and you finished the quarter on a 7-2 run. What did you see out of your team at that moment and what did that do to help you get this win?
TYRONN LUE: I just think just turning the basketball over has been killing us in this series. I think our half-court defense is really solid. We're doing a good job. But transition and turnovers is allowing them to get out and get easy baskets. So we've got to just take those away. We had 19 turnovers for 19 points. We had a chance to increase and extend the lead. We turned the basketball over or didn't get back in transition, which allowed them to get some confidence. But overall I thought we did a good job of maintaining our composure. They took some shots that they probably normally wouldn't have taken but they made them, so it made it a closer game. But we like where we're at. We like what we're doing defensively. Shooting 41 percent [for Boston]. We've just got to do a better job taking care of the basketball.

Q. Specifically, though, the end of the third quarter, did that feel like a momentum swing?
TYRONN LUE: I don't even remember.

Q. Kyle [Korver] jumped on the floor for --
TYRONN LUE: Oh, yeah. It all goes together. I really don't remember. I don't. I really don't.

Q. Tonight 15 assists on 41 field goals, so the ball seemed to slow down. Was this a night where that kind of had to happen, whether it's Boston's defense or because of the turnovers?
TYRONN LUE: I thought it had to happen. I thought we got a little stagnant in that fourth quarter, but we wanted to go LeBron in that fourth quarter, set the tone when he came back in. But they're switching a lot of stuff, and when they're switching you're going to be stagnant. So we've just got to try to find the mismatch and we did a good job of that tonight. Kevin [Love] got some easy baskets. Give Kevin credit; he stuck with it. He got in foul trouble, but he came in that fourth quarter, made some big baskets and really helped us out while LeBron was getting his rest. So they are going to switch. Just find the matchup and you just got to take advantage of it. So if that calls for making a pass out or taking advantage of the smaller guy, then we've got to do that.

Q. You guys were so careful with the ball last series. Can you correct this, or is it the way Boston playing --
TYRONN LUE: Oh, we can correct it. It's us. They play great defense. They're physical, but a lot of times in transition we get out and run, got numbers, but we're making careless passes in transition. We've got to take advantage of those moments. We were up 16, 18 -- like take it to 25, 26 to really increase the lead. Every time we got a chance to do that, we turned the basketball over. So that's been hurting us.

Q. The emergence of Tristan Thompson in these playoffs, what has he done to pick you up in Game 7 against the Pacers and then the job he's done on Al Horford and what he did tonight to get you to 2-2?
TYRONN LUE: He's been great. The biggest thing with Tristan is he's gotten healthy. When he had the time off, he really did a good job of working on his body, playing five-on-five with the guys, staying in shape. And he was a pro about it.

You have somebody like Tristan, you've been to three straight Finals and he doesn't play, it's tough. He could have given in, but he stayed the course. He continued to work on his body, work on his game. Called his number in Game 7 and he was ready to go, and the rest is history. He was great in the Toronto series. Tonight, just being physical, rebounding the basketball and doing a good job on Al. We need him to continue to do that.

Q. What do you say to your team now? It's 2-2 with three games left. What's the message from this point forward?
TYRONN LUE: The message is have the same approach going into Boston. I think playing with more speed and more pace, pushing the basketball. I think taking care of the basketball is the most important, especially on the road. You don't want to turn the ball over when you get to Boston because they really thrive off that -- dunks, threes, layups. The message is just continue to play like we played at home but take care of the basketball. Can't have 19 turnovers.

Q. I know you said it all runs together, but the Kyle play when he chased the ball down the court and dove, what does that mean -- do you remember that play?
TYRONN LUE: That means that's a guy that's all about winning, and whatever it takes to win. You very rarely see a 36-year-old running full speed against Marcus Smart, against [Terry] Rozier and diving for the loose ball and laying it all on the line. Kyle is just a pro's pro, man. He does everything right. Every night he gives it 100-percent effort. Tonight having three blocks. He had a couple strips. I just can't say enough about him. The veteran guys that we've had that have come through here, like Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson and James Jones, they know what it takes and understand what it takes to win. He's 37 now? God dang. We're playing him too many minutes. (Laughter). We need him, though. We need him.

Q. Kind of a bigger picture here. Guys have said before when you win a playoff game you feel like you're never going to lose a game and you're going to win a championship. When you lose a playoff game, you're never going to win again and the season is over. When you come back to 2-2 do you have to fight those emotions? Do you feel that as a coach? Do you feel like you're never going to win again after a loss and nothing can stop you after a win?
TYRONN LUE: I really don't feel that way. I think the playoffs is a game of adjustments, a game of matchups. I think our coaching staff does a great job of preparing the guys for situations. I just think you've got to stay right here. You can't read what you write, you can't read, listen to what Dave says. Rachel has some company up there that says a lot of different things. Just got to stay here. Don't listen to it. You can watch the highlights but don't listen to it. I watch the games on mute. If we win 10 in a row or lose 10 in a row, I just stay right here.

Q. This team has lived and died with the three-point shot all year long. In Boston a combined 14-of-57, just under 25 percent. For the last two games here in Cleveland, 25-of-57, just under 44 percent. What is it about this place where we're able to hit threes? Was it anything different, more wide-open threes here?
TYRONN LUE: I thought we got open threes in Game 1, especially in that first half. But we're home, and our fans were electric again tonight. They were great. Kyle Korver got that loose ball, they went crazy. When they fouled Rozier on the three-point shot and he missed the first two, it was as loud as any place I've ever been in. We're home. We feel good. Our fans are behind us. The guys feel better at home. We've just got to take it on the road, just win one game.

Q. Are you taking anything out of this town and bringing it to Boston?
TYRONN LUE: I wish I could. I wish I could.

Q. You keep mentioning how you want to play with speed and play more fast on the road in Boston, but how do you take that hustle and the hustle plays on the road, especially because that's what Boston's identity is? They're the guys that scrap, but you guys were the scrappy ones tonight.
TYRONN LUE: Just got to watch it and the blueprint. We've been showing -- after Game 3, this is who we are and this is who we have to be. Also the first half of Game 2, we're physical and we were into bodies. Defensively we made the multiple efforts. We were on point defensively. I think you're going to make shots at some point, but to set the tone defensively on the road is the most important thing.

Q. You guys seemed to keep them off the glass pretty well there in the second half. What were Tristan and Larry [Nance Jr.] doing the best to keep Al and those guys off the boards?
TYRONN LUE: Larry's athletic ability, offensive rebounding and defensive rebounding, he can just outjump everybody. Tristan, just being physical, keeping a body on guys. I don't know how Kevin gets a lot of rebounds, but he does it. He moves his body, has great body position. He's strong. Again, like I said, Kevin got those five fouls, and in that fourth quarter he really played well, made a couple shots, a couple offensive rebounds and really gave us a chance to rest Bron. And then bringing Bron back, we kind of solidified the win. Total team effort. Korver was great, G-Hill [George Hill] was great, J.R. [Smith]. So we just have to keep it going.

Q. Can you just talk about how you guys were able to continually utilize those mismatches against Rozier in your pick-and-roll sets?
TYRONN LUE: No, ma'am. I love you, though.

Q. You can't give me anything?
TYRONN LUE: I'm telling you, you're better than Jason Lloyd, but I cannot answer that question. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Hey, listen, you're really good, but I don't want to -- I mean, OK, get a follow-up. I'm sorry.

We want to have the movement. We want to try to take advantage of mismatches. Rozier is a tough fighter, tough competitor. But if you try to get switches, I guess he's the one you want to try to go up with Kevin and Bron because the other four guys are the same size. They're strong. They're physical. So the way they play, you've got to try to take advantage of the mismatch because they don't have a lot on the floor at the same time. To answer your question, we've got to just get to it and then we've got to make the right plays out of it.

Q. How much more comfortable do you feel Larry Nance Jr. is now at this point in the postseason than he was at the very start of it, and can you speak to his sequence at the end of the third quarter there?
TYRONN LUE: I think he sees what it takes. I think having a chance to play in his first playoffs -- and one thing about Larry you're going to get effort. You're going to get toughness. He's not afraid. I think now sitting out for a few games and then coming back, I think he sees what it takes. He did a good job of keeping his body in shape, playing five-on-five with the guys. The game has slowed down. He understands what it takes, what we need to do and he's been great.

Q. I too want to ask you about the play of Larry Nance. You talk about the core guys that have earned your trust. Has he with 10 minutes and seven points, he's very productive tonight, has he gotten to the point where he's earned your trust to be able to play more minutes?
TYRONN LUE: Yes, I trust him. His verticality and blocked shots at the rim, his pick-and-roll ability and the ability to roll and create -- if they pull in, we get threes; if they don't, he gets lobs and dunks or the pass for finishes. So just his effort, being able to rebound the basketball, bring it out on the dribble. He does a lot of things at the 5 position. So he's definitely earned my trust, yes.

Q. Larry had the energy, had the skill set to do what he's been doing, but Tristan has kind of led by example. Has that trickled down to him in terms of getting that to come up during the rest of the series?
TYRONN LUE: If you watch during timeouts, Tristan is always talking to Larry telling him different things that he sees and what to do. I think it's kind of like a big brother. They're around the same age, but Tristan has been there for him. Even when Tristan wasn't playing, he was still there talking to Larry trying to get him through and what it takes and what you have to do. They have a great relationship, and those two working hand in hand has been good for us. The reason why he didn't play was it was hard to play two centers off the bench when Larry was coming off the bench. It's hard to play two 5s off the bench. When Tristan is starting, Larry is getting his opportunity and he's making the most of it.

Q. Historically here, whether it's Andy [Varejao] a couple years ago or Delly [Matthew Dellavedova] a couple years back, Cleveland has always had that energy guy that's gotten the crowd going. Is Tristan that guy?
TYRONN LUE: Tristan and Larry. They both are. Tristan, when he is rebounding the basketball, big blocks, finishing at the rim, those are big plays for us. Larry, the same thing -- verticality, blocked shots, loose balls, dunking around the rim. Those are huge, especially at home, getting the crowd into it. So they're both a pretty big part of what we're doing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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