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May 25, 2018

LeBron James

Cleveland, Ohio: Game Six

Cavaliers - 109, Celtics - 99

Q. How would you say your teammates responded with Kevin Love out? How encouraged were you with that?
LEBRON JAMES: I think they responded exceptionally well. Our second quarter, our guys that came off the bench -- Jordan [Clarkson], Jeff [Green], Kyle [Korver] and Larry [Nance Jr.] -- they just gave us a huge boost in that second quarter. That's the reason why we outscored them by 16 in that second quarter. It was just huge. We needed it obviously more than ever tonight with the situation that we were in.

Q. We didn't get a real good look at what happened to you. I think you banged knees, and then how you were feeling after that? I think you scored 12 points to close it out.
LEBRON JAMES: I didn't get a good look at it, either, or I would have been able to avoid it. After the game, I didn't know who got me. But after the game Larry asked me if I was I OK, so I'm guessing he was the culprit of it. I just felt someone fall into my leg and my leg kind of went in. I felt some pain throughout my entire right side of my ankle into my leg. I was just hoping for the best, obviously, because I've seen so many different injuries, and watching basketball with that type of injury, someone fall into one's leg standing straight up. Luckily, I was able to finish the game.

Q. After that second long three in the fourth quarter, you kind of let out a scream and pounded your chest a little bit. What caused that reaction, and what were you thinking in that moment?
LEBRON JAMES: The love of the game causes reactions like that. Understanding the situation and understanding the moment that you're in. It was just a feeling that you can't explain unless you've been a part of it. That's all.

Q. We were talking in the '15 Finals when everyone was out with injuries and you said I can't play all 48 in The Finals because I burn too much energy. You didn't play all 48, but it's pretty close. With what you did in Game 7 against Indiana and tonight, have you exceeded stamina wise and energy wise what you are able to do on a court in a game like this?
LEBRON JAMES: Just try to put myself in the best possible shape each and every year to be able to go for the long haul. Now, obviously I get a minute, couple minutes here, per quarter, would be great, but it's not what our team is built on right now. Our team is built on me being out on the floor to be able to make plays, not only for myself but make plays for others. It's just the way we've been playing, and we've been succeeding with it. I was able to play 46 minutes today. I got my couple minutes, I guess.

Q. Going back to the roll-up on Larry, does that at all compare to -- against Chicago when you rolled your ankle, I think Griff [David Griffin] said your ankle bone hit the floor and everyone thought you were done and you just retied your shoe and walked back out there. Does tonight compare at all to that? Was one worse than the other?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, I wasn't coming out in either case. Obviously, I would have had to literally have a real, real, really bad injury -- [Knocks on table] I don't even know if this is ... that's not even wood; I'll find some on the way out -- to come off the floor with the opportunity we have to be able to force a Game 7.

Q. You've had all sorts of challenges to overcome in your career thus far, but you're going to go into Boston where they're 10-0 this postseason, Sunday, Game 7. What's it like pondering that chance? Tristan Thompson said in the locker room this is what you live for, a Game 7 at the Garden.
LEBRON JAMES: Just go out, trust what you've built on all year. For me, I don't put too much added pressure on myself. I just go out and play my game. It's a Game 7. It's something that you wish you had when you're done playing, but more than that, it's just basketball for me. I know what I'm capable of doing, and I'm going to trust everything I put into it.

Q. Can you kind of take us through the next 48 hours and how you're going to get yourself ready to be in Game 7 the way you were tonight?
LEBRON JAMES: As soon as I leave here, I'll start to prepare. I'm going to get in the car and head back to Akron. As soon as I get home, I'll start my treatment. I'll do the same all day tomorrow from before we leave to go to Boston, and then once we get into Boston I'll do that as well. Try to get as much sleep as I can with tonight and with tomorrow and even on Sunday before the game. That's the best recovery that you can possibly get, is when you're sleeping. It'll be around-the-clock treatment, and we'll see what happens.

Q. You obviously have that extra gear when you know you absolutely have to win and you're exhausted. What is the thought process? What do you say to yourself?
LEBRON JAMES: I don't know. I don't really talk to myself much, to be honest. I don't talk to myself much. I just go out and play. I have a drive. I have a love of the game. I have a passion for the game, and while I have the opportunity to lace my shoes up and put a uniform on, then I try to go out and do my job to the best of my ability. Does it always work out? Obviously, no. I'm not undefeated in my career. Does it always -- me playing great? I haven't always played great in my career. But I just always want to try to maximize when I'm on the floor, and I've been able to do that in my 15th year so far.

Q. Ty Lue said that he feels like after six games you guys have the blueprint going into Game 7. What's it going to take to execute that on the road?
LEBRON JAMES: You've got to be poised. You've got to be able to handle a punch or two. And you've got to be able to combat that and be just as solid and just as aggressive on the offensive end. We know it's challenging. They're 10-0 on their home floor, and they've been very successful against us, obviously, at home. But if you love challenges, then this is a great opportunity.

Q. You've been a clutch player basically your whole career. How do you feel you're evolved in the last few years in clutch situations, because it seems like especially the last few years when the going gets tough, you're always hitting.
LEBRON JAMES: What's your name?

Q. Paulo from ESPN Brazil.
LEBRON JAMES: I appreciate you saying I've been clutch my whole career. There's not many like you, I tell you. (Laughter) There's not many like you. Either you're being very kind to me because it's National Wine Day or you know I love Brazil or I don't know what it is right now, but --

Q. The last few years --

Q. Especially.
LEBRON JAMES: There we go.

No, I guess just being -- first of all, my teammates and my coaching staff have given me the reins to take the shot or make the play late in games. When you have that ability and when you have that confidence from your 14 teammates and then your coaching staff and then you put the work into it, it's just a matter of just trying to come through. Like I said, I haven't always done it in my whole career, but I've never shied away from it. That's either making a shot or making a play. I was taught the game the right way ever since I ever started playing the game of basketball. My first year ever playing little league basketball, we won a championship. My coach at the banquet gave everybody an MVP trophy.

Everybody. And that right then, I knew that this is a team game. It's not about one individual and how much one individual can do in order to win championships. In order to win, you have to have a full team. And that's what it brought it down to me.

The second year we won it again, and we all got MVP trophies again. It's just been instilled in me since I was 9 years old, when I first started playing, of what it means to be in a situation where your teammates rely on you. Just making the right play no matter if it's a shot or if it's a pass. I've always just been taught that.

Q. Do you feel like you embraced the situation more today than maybe you did in the past?
LEBRON JAMES: I've embraced a lot of situations as you grow up. I think that's just all part of experience and things of that nature. I mean, I love being a husband now. Did I embrace that at 18, 19? I don't think so. I mean, I've never been around married couples. As you get older, you just grow into more things. I didn't love wine until I was 30 years old, and now every other post is about wine, National Wine Day. So you learn and you grow and you know what's best for you as you get older. That's just all of us. I think that's what being a human being is. You find ways that you feel like you can grow and what you like and what you dislike. At 18, I don't think I'm the same player that I am today at 33, and I shouldn't be. I don't think me personally I should be the same person that I was at 18. I'm just much more seasoned.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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