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May 21, 2018

LeBron James

Cleveland, Ohio: Game Four

Cavaliers - 111, Celtics - 102.

Q. A lot is being made about all four games being won by the home team, but now looking back, what were you guys able to do or what did you change, what was different about you from the first two games out there to how you've played in these two?
LEBRON JAMES: Obviously we were a lot better defensively, flying around and making them take contested shots and making them make the extra pass and still being able to fly around. Our communication level has been up obviously in the last two games. As loud as it is in the Garden, we've got to be able to transfer that energy and that communication into Game 5 in order for us to be better than we were in Game 1 and 2.

Q. You've talked a lot this year about being a new team with all the moving parts and whatnot, but most of the guys you guys are relying on have been there and four of you have won a championship. Should you be ready for what you're going to see in Game 5, and what have you seen lately that would tell you that you are?
LEBRON JAMES: I mean, we don't know what we're going to see in Game 5. Only the game gods know that. We know it's going to be a hostile environment. We know their fans are going to be very energetic. But we have to just have our same mindset we had when we came home for these two games. If our minds are there, we put ourselves in a position to be victorious.

Q. Oftentimes when we ask you about Kyle Korver, it's draining critical three-pointers. But tonight to see him throwing his body around, chasing down balls, going out of bounds, what does that say about his level of commitment and urgency in the playoffs?
LEBRON JAMES: I've loved Kyle ever since we made the trade to get him here. I have no idea how Griff [David Griffin] was able to pull that off still to this day. He's just a true professional. There's not many of us '03 class guys still around. I feel like we're just cut from a different cloth because we've been around for so long. We have this work ethic and you see him every day putting in the work, putting his mind, his body into it. It's not about his age. I think it's just always keeping his body in the right position, especially in tonight's game.

He's guarding -- how old is Jaylen Brown? Can somebody help me? 21? He's guarding Jaylen Brown, one of the most athletic wings we have in our league. He's 21 years old. Jaylen can fall on the ground 10 times and probably spring up and just as likely never feel it. I don't remember Kyle falling too much like that. I've got to keep his body as fresh as possible. But listen, he's doing whatever it takes to try to help us win, with the blocks, with the strips. Obviously his shot making is very key for our team as well, but it's just the intangibles he's doing for us defensively that has put him in a position to be on the floor.

Q. We talked about Larry Nance Jr. a little bit this morning. What have you seen from his growth from postseason Game 1 to now, and how important do you feel like his third quarter stretch was at the end there?
LEBRON JAMES: Like you guys always hear me preach about, the best teacher in life is experience. From Game 1 in Indy until now, the experience, the atmosphere, he understands what the postseason is all about now. The more and more time he gets, no matter if it's the 10 minutes he got tonight or if it's the extended time in Game 3, he continues to play good ball for us. That's key for our team, and it's key for him as well as he continues to grow.

Q. You've probably seen every kind of defense in your career. Is Boston, what they're trying to do, a familiar defense to you, and what kind of adjustments have you made the last two games when you're at about 60 plus percent in each one of them?
LEBRON JAMES: Yeah, there's not a defense that I have not seen. There's only so many that you can actually provide on the basketball floor, and I've seen them all. Pretty much through when I started to play high school until now, so I've seen them all. But they do a really good job with their communication, trying to force you to do things that you -- try to not do so well or kind of second-guess yourself. For me, that's why I put in the work in between days and try to work on my game to where I don't -- you can't force me to do something I don't want to do or I don't have too much of a weakness. I work on every aspect of my game. But more importantly, my teammates are putting me in position and wanting me to be in attack mode and trusting me to put our guys in position to be successful.

It's not about me. It's about the collective group, and I'm one of the byproducts of that.

Q. Tonight you passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in terms of most field goals made in playoff history. What does it mean to you?
LEBRON JAMES: I don't know. Listen, any time I'm in the same breath with the greats, I know you guys hear me say it over and over, it's just humbling. To know where I come from, you guys know a little bit of the story. But you guys don't know the full story about where I come from and the struggle that I had. You guys know about the single-parent struggle, and y'all done heard that story. But there's a lot more to it, which I'll talk about when I'm done playing ball.

But to know where I come from, small city 35 miles south of here, and to hear I'm in the same category or talked about and jumping these greats in the playoffs -- it's like I was a kid and I watched the playoffs so much and I was like, I would love to be a part of that, that moment, that atmosphere. I think it's pretty cool. You hear the scoring, the field goals made, and for a kid that really doesn't care much about scoring.

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about how you guys were able to continuously utilize mismatches in your pick-and-roll sets and what it does for your offense as a whole when you get those looks?
LEBRON JAMES: I'm just watching them, breaking down film and seeing what's the best possible chance for us to be successful versus their defense. I think this league is all predicated on trying to find mismatches. That's every team. If you look at the four teams in the postseason now, Houston is trying to find mismatches, Golden State is trying to find mismatches, Boston, and us as well. We're all trying to find mismatches for us to try to be successful offensively. It's not much of a secret. You just try to execute once you get the mismatch or you feel like you have a position where you can be successful offensively. Then you try to execute or just try to get a bucket. We've been very successful in the last two games with doing that. Boston was very successful the first two games with doing that.

Q. You answered your first question before and you mentioned the defensive intensity. How integral has Tristan [Thompson] been, tonight especially with Kevin [Love] getting into foul trouble, but over the last two games to kind of even up that score on the defensive end?
LEBRON JAMES: Tristan has been everything for our defense since he got back into the rotation, got back into the starting lineup. He's just been who who I've grown to know over the last four years. Just always taking the one-on-one challenge. Just having this meanness and toughness about him, not only offensively but more importantly defensively versus anybody. He will guard anybody. That's not saying that they won't score on him, but he will always take the challenge. He won't shy away from any competition. He's been great in the postseason. It's not even these last two games, but in the postseason in general.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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