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February 17, 2019

LeBron James

Charlotte, North Carolina

Team LeBron - 178, Team Giannis - 164

Q. LeBron, congratulations. Talk about how the third quarter really made the difference in what you guys did to take the victory.
LeBRON JAMES: It was our second group that came in - dame, Klay, Brad Beal, LaMarcus, Ben Simmons, KAT. They came in and just changed the whole complexion of the game. We got stops, and, obviously, Dame and Klay caught fire from behind the arc, and allowed us to get back into the game and allowed us take a one-point lead going into the fourth.

Q. Where are you health-wise right now? And then from a broader perspective, you know, typically around starting now, how you play for the rest of the season, how you kind of kick it up a notch.
LeBRON JAMES: I feel great. Sorry to cut you off, Joe, but I feel great. Looking forward to the second half of the season. Looking forward to seeing what we can do to get back in this playoff race. That's my only mindset.

That's the only thing that's going to happen in my mental space for these next two months, pretty much on how I can get this team playing the type of level of basketball we were playing before my injury.

Q. What did it mean to you to have Dwyane on the court and catching some of those lobs from him today?
LeBRON JAMES: It meant everything. Like I've been saying the last couple of days, it's been a bittersweet moment for me with him. The bitter part is obviously this is the last time being on the same floor together and playing the game we love so much, and obviously all the memories we have, both as competitors, as teammates, so on and so on. Playing here in the States, playing abroad with Team USA and doing what we've been doing for so many years.

And then the sweet part of it, seeing him be able to go off on his own terms, saying when he's done and nobody forced him out or did anything of that nature. He's able just to hang it up when he was ready to hang it up and be at peace with it all. So that's real sweet of it.

Q. LeBron, to assess Kemba's development, his first NBA All-Star start happens to be on his home court. How have you seen him develop over the years?
LeBRON JAMES: First of all, it's incredible to have your first All-Star start in your own building. For that to be today for Kemba has been great. He's the all-time leader in points for a reason, but he's made this franchise relevant because of his maturation process and the way he's continuing to get better and better each and every year.

So it's just great to see what he's been able to do year after year after year, continue to get better and better and better with his game and also with his leadership.

Q. LeBron, I know you and Coach Malone go way back. How would you evaluate his coaching performance in a game like that?
LeBRON JAMES: Great. He was unbelievable. Brought back a lot of memories for myself, just a lot of years that we had back in my early days in Cleveland, back in his early days coaching. Definitely miss him. I miss being around him every day. I miss the fire he brings to the game. Miss his mental side of the game as well.

To be able to have this weekend, these last couple days with him has been a really good treat.

Q. LeBron, you seem to really embrace the challenge of guarding Giannis down the stretch, and then there was a sequence where you tapped your chest and hit the step-back over Joel. Where did the competitive fire come from for you personally tonight?
LeBRON JAMES: You put me on the floor, I love to compete. I'm a competitor, no matter what it is. I was competing to see if I can get to this table first. Did anybody come here before me?


LeBRON JAMES: See what I'm talking about?

See you all the second half of the season.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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