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June 7, 2018

J.R. Smith

Cleveland, Ohio: Practice Day

Q. Could you describe the vibe right now?
J.R. SMITH: It's pretty good. For a team to be down 0-3, everybody seems to be on the upbeat. Seem optimistic about our chances, so it's good to see.

Q. Do you think it's a vocal thing, an individual thing, is someone speaking out, or is it just individually guys just know what's going on?
J.R. SMITH: I think individually we've got a pretty good mindset as a team as far as individuals. Everybody has been in tough situations. Everybody understands what's at risk and what stage we're on. So to see everybody coming in and communicating, smiles, jokes a little bit, it's great. Great to see.

Q. What is the biggest thing when it comes to surviving something like this that's never been done before?
J.R. SMITH: Take it one quarter at a time. Obviously one game at a time, but you've literally got to take it a quarter at a time. Try to slow them down in the first quarter and second quarter. Obviously, they're a big third-quarter team. So as long as you take it one quarter at a time, you should be all right.

Q. How do you mentally approach Game 4 to keep this series alive?
J.R. SMITH: Just know that our backs are up against the wall and if we don't win, it's over. So if that's not enough motivation for you, I don't know what is. It's The Finals, and we've got to come out and play the way we know how.

Q. Rough finish for last night, but after your review this morning, is there anything positive you can take away from how you performed last night?
J.R. SMITH: We played well defensively on Klay and Steph. Made them take tough shots. They didn't particularly shoot the ball well until Steph hit that one shot in the fourth. That was pretty big. I mean, that was great. But we've got to figure out a way to guard K.D.

There are a lot of positives I think we can take from the game.

Q. What do you think was the difference on Steph, coming off an historic game in Game 2, and then into Cleveland?
J.R. SMITH: I how aggressive we were with him more than anything. On our switches, we got into the ball. The bigs did a great job when we switched and blitzed. So if we can keep him to the numbers he shot yesterday, then we give ourselves a great chance.

Q. LeBron said the Warriors are comparable to like the Patriots. No room for error when it comes to them. When you think about the errors or the turnovers, and in this last game, do you think it was carelessness or their defensive activity?
J.R. SMITH: A little bit of both. We had a few turnovers where, I mean, K.D. is just so long and tall that he can pretty much snag one out of the air in the corner. I think the pass to Kev (Love) or somebody like that. I took a few bad shots that became turnovers.

It could go either way. Everybody is trying to make the right play and playing our hearts out. We can't dwell on that part. They're a great team, probably one of the best defensive teams in the league. They're going to make you make mistakes. It's just a matter of how many you make.

Q. Speaking of not dwelling, short-term memory for you in this series, what did you learn, especially coming out of Game 1 and then have the game you did last night?
J.R. SMITH: I just live by a short mindset regardless. If I play well, the night is over, get to the next one. So whether I play bad, the night's over, get to the next one. That's pretty much the way I've lived my life my whole life. I've had a lot of bad days, so I know how to get over them.

Q. You mentioned physicality and the attacking with the switching and the success you had early in the game with Steph and Klay. In the second half, though, that turns into a lot of runs at the basket, 30 points in the paint. They shoot 60 percent from the field. How do you wind up keeping that up for 48 minutes as opposed to 24?
J.R. SMITH: Well, when you're doing as much running and trying to communicate as much as you can, you get gassed. In that third, fourth quarter, we can't let that happen. A few mishaps -- a few of them were my fault. You can say this guy did that, this guy did that. Our communication has to be key. It has to be loud early as it continues for the full 48 minutes.

Q. I know you guys don't want this season to be over, but what do you know about LeBron in particular as a competitor in elimination games?
J.R. SMITH: I mean, he's LeBron. He's going to come out and be aggressive and play well. That's what we anticipate. We as a supporting cast have to go out and play well. We have to have the same mindset he's bringing to the court.

Q. Are you relieved no one tweeted "Cavs in 7" from your account last night?
J.R. SMITH: No, I was about to do it myself. But I probably decided it probably wasn't the best time to do it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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