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September 22, 2020

LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers

Game 3: Postgame

Denver Nuggets 114, Los Angeles Lakers 106

Q. What did you think was the difference that let Denver build that 20-point lead?

LeBRON JAMES: I think it was the same in Game 2, same thing that we were able to get by with AD's shot, turned the ball over too much. We couldn't get to the free throw line, and you know, I give credit where credit is due, though.

Denver came in and played exceptionally well. They played better than us, more aggressive than us through three quarters, 36 minutes, but you know, we've got into the penalty in the third quarter with like nine and a half minutes to go and we had some turnovers that led to some easy buckets for them. We had 16 turnovers for 25 points and put them to the line 29 times. It's not going to be winning ingredients for us if we continue to do that and we knew that, even after Game 2, we talked about that, trying to assure that. Got to be better than that Game 4.

Q. Frank talked about the importance of touching the paint off drives when a team is packing it in like Denver has. What are some things you can do better in Game 4?

LeBRON JAMES: I think offensively we were very good. At times, we weren't. I think we just got to do a better job, like Coach was saying, of getting to the paint and once the defense collapses, just finding our guys weak side; if it's a guy that's slashing, through a weak side to the paint or if it's a guy that's spotted up on our side off one of our bigs, getting behind the defense for a lob.

So Denver has been a pretty good defensive team all year. We understand that. I'm looking forward to seeing our film -- our film session tomorrow and continue to get better.

Q. The success you guys had in the fourth quarter, some due to zone defense, some due to activity, was it just a matter of upping intensity level or giving a different look that Denver wasn't anticipating? How do you account for the run you went on?

LeBRON JAMES: I think it's a bit of both. I think we played with a lot more energy, and we understand we had 12 minutes left to try to make a game out of it and we were able to do that. We were able to switch some things up defensively, going zone here, man here, trying to keep them off balance.

When you dig yourself a hole like that, every shot that they make and every shot that we miss, feels like the game is collapsing. So you know, we played some pretty good ball in the fourth quarter, but those first 36 minutes, that hurt us obviously.

Q. I wanted to ask you something off the court. You've spent so much time in the bubble talking about police brutality and the relationship of police in the black community and on Tuesday you expressed your condolences towards the officers in Compton who were shot and talked about the need for non-violence. There's this sort of narrative in this framing that emerges from some people that frames your position in talking about police brutality as something that incites violence against officers, and the L.A. County Sheriff obviously had that kind of implication last week when he asked you to contribute to the reward. I'm wondering what your reaction is when you hear those two things connected, and did you think it was appropriate for the sheriff to sort of bring that up and bring you into that discussion?

LeBRON JAMES: I've never in my 35 years ever condoned violence. Never have. But I also know what's right is right and what's wrong is wrong and I grew up in an inner city in a black community, in what we call the "hood," the "ghetto," however you want to picture it. And I've seen a lot of counts, firsthand, of a lot of black people being, you know, I guess racially profiled because of our color, and I've seen it, you know, throughout my whole life. You know, and I'm not saying that all cops are bad, because I actually throughout high school and things of that nature, I'm around them all the time and they are not all bad.

But when you see the videos that's going on and you can see not only my hometown but all over America, you continue to see the acts of violence towards my kind, I can't do nothing but to speak about it and see the common denominator.

But not one time have I ever said, you know, let's act violent towards cops. I just said that what's going on in our community is not okay, and we fear for that and we fear for our lives. It's something that we go on every single day as a black man and a black woman and a black kid and a black girl, we fear; we fear that moment where we are pulled over or -- I just seen something, I believe yesterday or the day before, of a guy in Wisconsin was renting a house, and the next door neighbor called the police on him, and the police came in the house without a warrant, without anything, and arrested the guy, a black man because he was sitting out on the porch, and if you can't tell me that's not racial profiling, then I don't know what the hell -- or what the hell we are looking at.

But I do not condone violence towards anyone, police, black people, white people, anyone of color, anyone not of color, because that's not going to ever make this world or America what we want it to be.

So -- and I have zero comment on the sheriff.

Q. Do you want to talk about the game again? The turnovers you had, the turnover issues, is there a common denominator with where those are coming? Is it something Denver is doing defensively?

LeBRON JAMES: It's some of the risk passes that we're making, including myself. I mean, I had five turnovers in the first half and one in the second half, so I understood what I was doing in the first half and made an adjustment. There are some passes that we have been able to complete throughout this season, but versus Denver we have to be a little bit more careful and make more -- more sound plays with the ball, and protect the ball, because like we always preach, every possession is very important. When you give up 25 points off 16 turnovers, that's not good. We did the same thing in Game 2, we had 24 turnovers and luckily it didn't bite us in the butt but it should have.

We just got to do a better job of that and it's a conscious effort that not only starts with me because I'm the point guard of the team, and it trickles down to everyone else.

Q. Murray had that elbow, and some people on the bench thought it was maybe Flagrant 2. Talk us through that play and did you think it was?

LeBRON JAMES: I was just setting a screen and his elbow got high and was able to strike me -- strike me across the jaw. I don't -- I don't care about flagrant ones or flagrant twos. I don't want him to come out of the game. I like the competition. I don't think it was blatant but I don't know mindset, but I don't think he did it on purpose. I was okay with it. You know, went down for a little bit. Got back up and was ready to play. I was cool with the ruling. I was okay with them saying a flagrant one. I ain't here to fight.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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