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May 23, 2018

LeBron James

Boston, Massachusetts: Gam Five

Celtics - 96, Cavaliers - 83.

Q. Ty Lue was asked today if he felt you looked tired out there on the court, and he responded yes. So my question is physically how did you feel out there today?
LEBRON JAMES: I had my moments. But I think everybody at this point is tired or worn down or whatever the case may be. Still trying to make plays to help our team win, put us in position to win. We had moments. We had an opportunity, but we didn't make enough plays.

Q. I asked Kevin [Love] if he could get a read on your team, and he wasn't sure. Did you have a feel that you could match their intensity tonight coming into this game?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, I think defensively we held them to 36 percent shooting. I think turnovers was another thing. We had 15 turnovers for 15 points. But defensively we were in tune. We gave up 96 points. Offensively, we couldn't make. We couldn't make. We were 9-for-34 from the three-point line, missed seven free throws. Obviously in the postseason, scoring 83 points, you're not going to win many games like that. But defensively we gave ourselves a chance. We stuck in the game. Even in the fourth quarter we made a run and cut it down to 11. At one point we had two opportunities to cut it to single digits and missed some really good looks, two three-pointers. We couldn't make. And if you don't make, it's going to come back to bite you.

Q. From your experiences, what's the hardest part about playing in an elimination game, and what do you guys need to do to make sure you come back to Boston for Game 7?
LEBRON JAMES: We've got to defend like we did tonight. We've got to make some shots; that definitely would help. I think going back home, we have a comfort level. A lot of our guys have a comfort level of being back home and playing off the fans and playing off our crowd, playing off that court, being more comfortable being back home for Game 6. We look forward to having an opportunity to force a Game 7. It's up to us to see if we can come back here for one more.

Q. We of course have talked about this a lot over the course of the year, but you're facing elimination again, and so people are going to ask and talk about is this your last game in Cleveland. But beyond that, your Finals streak is now on the line. Do you go into that game now having to win two, thinking about trying to protect that Finals streak at all?
LEBRON JAMES: No, not at all, because I've never went to any season saying, OK, let's have a Finals streak. It's just all about just win every game and it should put us in position to play for a championship. I've been in championship mode since probably '09. We weren't able to get there then.

Obviously I made the move to Miami. I was able to go there four straight. And three straight since I've been back here. It just happens because I've been able to play with some great players, play with some great teammates, coaching staffs that have been able to put us in position to go to The Finals. I've never said, OK, this is my third one or let's try to take to a fourth. It's just the way the game has been played and I've been able to be successful. We have another opportunity on Friday to be as good as we can be, play Cavs basketball on our home floor and force a Game 7.

Q. The home teams have played pretty well and the road teams have played not really well in this series. Does that do anything to your confidence looking ahead knowing you'd have to win one here?
LEBRON JAMES: You're asking me or -- my confidence?

Q. Confidence in your team.
LEBRON JAMES: Well, for me I think I look forward to seeing us respond on Friday night. I know how well we've played at home in this postseason. That's the only thing I can worry about right now. I'm not worried about a Game 7. You have to worry about Game 6. You can't put yourself in that moment until you take care of the present. We're going to have another opportunity tomorrow to watch some film, go over some things that we can do better -- as we've done after every game in the postseason -- and see ways we can be even better for Game 6.

Q. What have you guys done as a team since the elimination game you faced in the first round against Indiana to now to better prepare yourselves to face this challenge?
LEBRON JAMES: I don't know. I have no idea. You have your coaching staff prep you. They put you in position. They feel like this is the best for us to be as good as we can be as a ballclub, and it's up to us to go out and execute it. Everybody is different. I know how I prepare myself. I know how I prepare going into each and every game, no matter if it's elimination or 0-0, whatever the case may be in a playoff game. So I can speak for myself and know what my mindset will be on just trying to help us, like I said, do every facet of the game, to try to extend the series. We'll see what happens.

Q. The last couple games you seemed to have a clear understanding of how they were going to switch on you in the pick-and-roll and how you wanted to pick that apart. They went big a lot more this game and mixed their coverages up a little differently. Did it make it less predictable?
LEBRON JAMES: No, I knew exactly what they were going to do tonight. They switched it up a couple times with their defense as far as what they were doing with my pick-and-rolls when I was either setting or handling. But at this point, it's not even really about X's and O's. I've seen all the defenses that they can put out there, so nothing was surprising.

Q. You have faced all the other Celtics playoff teams. Would you say that this team is the toughest to date so far that you have faced?
LEBRON JAMES: I'll speak in the present, and I think they're a very well-coached, well-balanced, hungry team. They've got a bunch of young guys that were drafted very high and drafted very high for a reason, because they can do multiple things. They can be aggressive offensively. They can defend. They can shoot. They can put the ball on the floor. They can make plays for themselves and for others. I can speak for this moment right now. I don't want to really talk about other previous teams I've played against. I've played against a championship Boston Celtics team before, in '08, when they beat us in seven games. But right now this is the present, and this team is really good. Like I said, they're well-coached, they're well-balanced and we like the challenge.

Q. You mentioned the fatigue thing earlier, but were you under the weather at all in this game?
LEBRON JAMES: No. No. I'm fine. And I didn't mention the fatigue, either. One of you guys did. I'm fine.

Q. I know you have a way that you measure turnovers if they're aggressive or bad turnovers. Seven the other night and six tonight, that's an unusual high number for you. How many of them are unforced and how many can you live with?
LEBRON JAMES: I had two turnovers where I felt like they were really bad. My first turnover, I saw something happening and Marcus Morris did a great job of reading it. I threw it up ahead to Kev [Kevin Love], and he picked it off. My second turnover, I went baseline, lost my footing on Marcus Morris, another turnover. A couple of them, one in transition to Jeff Green, I thought I put it on his hands, and he kind of fumbled it. Wish I could have that one back and maybe bounce pass that one.

I had a backdoor one to Swish [J.R. Smith]. It hit his hands. Maybe I should have not thrown that one. It was a little bit in traffic. Al Horford was right there, but it hit Swish's hands. Maybe I should have taken that one back.

I had a post-up on Terry Rozier that they doubled from the baseline. Jayson Tatum got his hands on him and I had a guy wide open. I should have faked high and thrown it low. My last turnover was just very, very careless on Terry Rozier. We had a pick-and-roll, I got the switch and I just lost it out of bounds away from their basket.

So that's my six turnovers. I think out of those six, maybe three of them were just careless. I think the other three were attack turnovers, and I'm OK with that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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