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September 24, 2020

LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers

Game 4: Postgame

Los Angeles Lakers 114, Denver Nuggets 108

Q. Rondo said you switching over to Murray was key; wondered when you made that decision and what your mindset is when you're going against a smaller guy that's been that effective.

LeBRON JAMES: I knew it was winning time, and Jamal had it going. The kid is special. He has an array of shots. Triple threat from the three, mid-range and also in the paint.

For me, it's just trusting my defensive keys. Trusting my study of film. Trusting personnel. And living with the results. I told my teammate that I had him and everyone else can kind of stay at bay and stay home. I was able to get a couple stops and we were able to rebound the basketball, which is the most important thing.

Q. How are you feeling about the type of shots you guys are getting especially when they are packing the paint?

LeBRON JAMES: I think at times we're doing a great job. At certain times, we can do a better job with our spacing, especially on our post-ups. They are doing a little doubling on the post at times, so we've got to get a better outlet for AD when he is posting up and get the ball swung-swung as quickly as possible to get more looks. I thought we did a really good job, more importantly, tonight of not turning the ball over. The thing we talked about in Game 2 and Game 3 is we cannot turn the ball over against this team. We did a great job of that tonight.

Q. Frank said the other day that he's been trying to manage your minutes to a level where it may be the least you've played in your postseason career. With that management, did it allow you to keep something in reserve to make a move to guard Murray late?

LeBRON JAMES: Not for me. I don't reserve any energy. I'm on the floor, I give it all I got. If I need a break, I ask for a break. Coach has done a good job of getting me out throughout the course of the game. I don't look at it as a reserve tank. I've got pretty good energy when I'm on the floor all the time. It's winning time and I don't have a chance or time to be feeling tired. I'm tired now. That's when I'm tired, when it's zeros on the clock. That's when I'm tired. I'm not tired during the game.

Q. Now the Nuggets are down 3-1 just like they have been the last two series and that's a narrative everybody likes to talk about. You guys have also been up 3-1 in both of your series and closed them out. In this game you fixed some issues from Game 3. What's your level of confidence that you'll be able to take care of this in five games?

LeBRON JAMES: It's just about playing to our capability. Coming out with the game plan and executing it for 48 minutes. If we do that, we give ourselves a good chance to win.

Q. In the starting lineup with Dwight, he made a big impact early. What was that impact? And late in the game, what about the smaller lineup?

LeBRON JAMES: Dwight was a beast. Gave us opportunities when we missed shots, which as a team, we missed a couple. AD didn't miss any, but as a team, when we missed a couple shots, he was cleaning glass both offensively and defensively. Got us put-backs and was able to control the paint. We know we got smashed in the rebounding category in Game 3, so we wanted to do a better job in that. Dwight brought that physical presence. It was great for our ballclub.

Tonight, late game, Do [Rajon Rondo] was running pick-and-rolls. I was able to run a couple. But we just made our free throws. We made our free throws down the stretch, and that's what closes games out. You've got to get your stops defensively, make your free throws when you're fouled. And I thought we did that.

Q. Anthony said he wasn't so happy with the way he played or ended the previous game. He came out on fire tonight. What have you learned about him on off days after a game he doesn't love?

LeBRON JAMES: See how low his brow is. If his brow is really low, then you know not to talk to him. If it's higher, then he's accepted the fact that you're allowed to come into his office and talk to him.

Yesterday his brow was very low in this part and no one talked to him. So we already knew the mindset he was in, and he came out and did it.

Q. We saw your posts about protecting Black women. Specifically for you, what does that actually mean?

LeBRON JAMES: I think at the end of the day, respect. You just look at the history of America and the disrespect that Black women have gotten for the last 400 years. You can't turn a blind eye to that.

When I look at my household and see my daughter, who is five on her way to six, my wife and my mom, rest in peace my grandmother, so many Black women have done so many things for me. Seeing the sacrifices they made, especially my mom when I was growing up. They were disrespected along the way and it's still like that today.

In the case of Breonna Taylor's case, it's just shown once again that the walls of the neighbor is more important than her life.

So not only did I want to acknowledge all the queens in this world, all the Black queens in this world, but the ones in my life, the personal ones, too. I just kind of had a moment yesterday. I mean, I have a lot of moments, but felt like it was important to let Black women know that you're not alone. No matter the disrespect or what they may feel, don't stop. Because that's exactly what they want you guys to do. They want you guys to stop. They want you guys not to be as powerful as you guys are, not as strong as you guys are, as determined as you guys are. They want you all to be at bay. They want you to accept what's going on. For sure, I won't allow that.

When they are feeling down or feeling like there's no journey for them or gateway to be heard or to be seen or be respected or be accepted, my job is to continue to let them know that they are. They are important to everything that goes on, not only in America but in the world. Everything that goes on for 24 hours in day, 365 days a year, 366 in a leap year. That's what it's about.

Q. Were there any thoughts of not playing?

LeBRON JAMES: We didn't talk about that. One thing, we wanted to be there for our brother, Do. As much as it's devastating to us, you can only imagine it happening in your backyard. Do being from Louisville, we knew how tough it had to be on his family and the locals there.

No, we didn't discuss that one bit. But can't say that we were surprised at the verdict. None of us are surprised at it. That's what's more devastating, that none of us were surprised at what the outcome was.

Q. Speaking of Do, can you talk about how he played tonight?

LeBRON JAMES: Do has been in a lot of playoff games. He's won a championship. He's played at the highest level, and he's someone that we can trust.

In the postseason, every possession is so important. When you can have guys that have been in the moments and can understand and also be able to make adjustments on the fly, and know that you can count on them down the stretch, it just makes the team and you individually feel so much more confident in the outcome.

Do has been, ever since he got back from injury and we saw this playoff run, he's been exceptional.

Q. You've been here 70-plus days --

LeBRON JAMES: Thank you. Reminded me.

Q. Going through these experiences, like Breonna Taylor as a group, how does that change how a team processes something like that versus the way that when these things have happened in the past, how you would deal with it when maybe you weren't all together?

LeBRON JAMES: I think the best thing is that we have been together. We're able to see what's going on and be able to bounce things off one another and to be there for one another.

This game is so much bigger than just us getting on the floor and running around and calling out screens and running plays and making mistakes and trying to figure out how we can be better the next time. There's also a big thing called life that's involved in this, too. And to have, like you said, things that happened in Kenosha, and the Breonna Taylor case and so many other things that are going on in America, as we speak and as we move forward, being around people that you can trust and confide in, be able to talk to, bounce things off and not feel that you have to tackle it by yourself, I think that's very important when you have a support system like that.

The best thing that you can have is a close-knit group, because we're together more than we are with our families. So having that support is pretty amazing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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