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October 6, 2020

LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers

Game 4: Postgame

Los Angeles Lakers - 102, Miami Heat - 96

Q. Just wanted to ask you about KCP down the stretch. You grabbed a rebound off Jimmy's miss, pushed in transition, see him in the corner. All the teammates you've had, you know which guys are going to be capable for those moments in a Finals game. What do you think of his effort overall?

LeBRON JAMES: At the end of the day, if you're on the floor at crunch time, then I believe in you. Whoever is out on the floor with me, I believe can make plays, and tonight was a case in point of KCP. Stays ready. He works on his craft. Like you said, that three in front of their bench was a huge three, and obviously the drive at the end of the shot clock was two big back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter, where we needed to continue to score versus this team.

Q. I think it was after Game 2 that you made the comment that it's not just enough to win the game, you guys want to be great. This game was one where defensively you were great, and then there was a lot of sloppiness early offensively with the turnovers. I'm just wondering if there's a certain point where you stop striving for that winning in a great way, and it's just enough to get the wins? Or is that not until the fourth win?

LeBRON JAMES: It's kind of two different things, two different points you're making. You never stop striving to be perfect or be great. And you know that a perfect game is not going to happen, but that don't mean you still don't strive to be as great as you can be every night.

Now, every game has its own adjustments and things of that nature, and tonight was one of those games where we had to win on the defensive end and make some timely shots. But I think when you start thinking like, okay, well, I can't be great tonight or we can't be great tonight, okay, we just have to figure it out, then you sell yourself short. Me personally, I would never do that as long as I lace them up and put on a uniform. But I love what we did tonight.

Q. You guys took a five-point lead to the fourth quarter and won the game, which made you as a team 56-0 this season taking a lead into the fourth. What does that say about the makeup of your team, and do you take any pride in being on a team that can possess that stat?

LeBRON JAMES: I think the fourth quarter, obviously it's winning time. You've got 12 minutes to buckle down defensively with the lead, kind of hold that lead, and then you have to execute offensively. Obviously, I didn't know the stat coming into tonight. But for us, that's just the mindset. We've got 12 minutes. If we have the lead, it's our job to outscore the opponent or to hold them to [as many] points as us, which is the same exact thing, because if we win the quarter, we win the game. That's kind of been our mindset all year long.

Q. I know you talked about AD's great games and that that's who AD is, but in the last two days, from where he sort of told us after Game 3 he felt like he could have been more aggressive, to the guy he was after hitting that shot, 39 seconds left, beating his chest, what did you see in him getting back to that place where he be the player that he can be?

LeBRON JAMES: He's a big shot-maker late in the shot clock, early in the shot clock, fourth quarter, first quarter, everything in between. It was just a great set up by Do [Rajon Rondo]. The possession before that, Do was able to fake it like he was going back to him, carry himself into the lane and get a layup. And then the very next possession, he was able to find him and AD just kind of stared at the shot clock, knew it was late in the shot clock and obviously trusted his shot that he works on consistently.

So big-time shot, big-time play for our team to be able to put the game away.

Q. This game, being tied back and forth the entire time, came down to moments of truth. You guys won more than they did at the end of the day. When AD hits that shot, and you're doing the Ric Flair and screaming, is there a different kind of satisfaction, when y'all are so tight all night long and you have a breakthrough at that point?

LeBRON JAMES: You kind of know momentum plays and momentum shots, the score and the time, what's going on within the last few possessions. They were going back and forth with us, and we were going back and forth with them. Duncan Robinson hits one off the glass at the end of the shot clock for a three. Bam hits one off the glass right there before that we thought possibly went out; obviously it didn't count. Herro hit some big shots. Me and Do had a clean rebound, we're both going for it and we smash each other in the paint. They kick it out to Jae Crowder and he hits a shot.

To be able to get some stops and then make a timely shot, up six, you know if you make that shot, that three to put you up nine at that point in time of the game, then you know that you want to get one more stop obviously, but you have the time on your side because it's a three-possession game with 39 seconds. Most veteran ballclubs will be able to survive that. Just a big-time play, big-time moment not only for AD but for our ballclub and our franchise.

Q. What does an extra day of rest mean in a very physical series like this, and does it matter more to you now than it used to?

LeBRON JAMES: No. I mean, for me, it doesn't matter. I can go every other day if that's the case. But I'm going to take full advantage of it. Gives me an opportunity to continue to get my body right, my mind, everything in between. I'll take full advantage of it, but it does nothing for me besides just getting a little extra day -- I guess it does. I guess it does do some, but it's not needed for me personally.

Q. I believe it's like the third game of this series where you guys have called for a challenge in the first half. You got it overturned, the right call. How do you weigh the pros and cons of doing it so early?

LeBRON JAMES: There's certain momentum plays throughout the first half. There's a certain rhythm that you have either offensively or defensively that if that call is made correctly, then you continue to stay in that zone. You continue to stay in that rhythm. And if the call is wrong, it can throw you off of your rhythm.

So we've wanted to challenge some things in the first half that we just felt like, okay, even if we were right, maybe that's not the time; we've still got our rhythm, we're good, whatever the case may be. But we felt like in that particular moment, we were playing some really good basketball. We were defending at a high level, and we knew for sure, we knew 100 percent, because I was guarding the ball, I knew for sure I didn't touch the ball. Herro tried to float it over me and it hit the backboard, then hit the wire.

Coach is always kind of like, you know, 50/50 about it, and obviously as a player on the floor, you hate to tell your coach to challenge when you're not 100 percent. But I was for sure 100 percent about that play.

Q. You mentioned the fourth quarter being winning time. You played just about every second of the fourth quarter in this series. Given the score, are you predetermined you're going to play all 12 minutes? And what is it about the fourth quarter and your sense of urgency that might be a little different than the previous three quarters?

LeBRON JAMES: For me, I mean, at this point in the season, I don't care about rest. I really don't. I don't care about sleep. I don't care about resting throughout the game. Obviously, I come out of the game. Coach has a rhythm and rotation that we live by and we go by. But I don't care about resting because I can rest in a week, max, if it happens to go there. I could rest for a month straight, which I won't do because of who I am; you guys know that. But I can rest then. I can sleep eight hours and get up and eat and then go right back to sleep if I want to.

Q. KCP and Markieff both talked about a text that you sent that this was a must-win game. What was it about today that prompted you to do that?

LeBRON JAMES: When I woke up from my nap this morning after our team meeting, I just felt that. I felt that vibe. I felt that pressure. I felt like for me personally, this was one of the biggest games of my career. I just wanted to relay that message to my teammates, the type of zone I was in, the type of moment it was, and the kind of team we were playing against. After the Game 3 win, that confidence they had, the confidence they still have even after tonight's loss. They are just a gritty, so damn-well-coached team.

I feel like if we're going to be a championship ballclub, if we want to really be a championship team, that we got to have that same grit and that same attitude. It was my mindset. I'm still in it. You can see my mind kind of working right now.

Q. Anthony's versatility on defense is a weapon that allowed Frank to make the switch and say he can start possessions on Butler. AD's ability to do that, and still get back to protect the rim and to still deter shots, is it kind of unmatched?

LeBRON JAMES: Yeah, that's why he's the Defensive Player of the Year. We said that all year. His ability to play one through five, guard anybody on the floor, take the challenge, not only guard on the perimeter, continue to protect the paint. Guards drive on him. It's hard to score on him. You see how high Herro threw that ball up? It went in, but he had to throw that thing up to the skyscrapers, right? That guy can do everything defensively. Guarding the ball, guard the post, slide his feet with guards, contest, can body up with bigs. I mean, need I say more?

Q. This is your 258th playoff game. I'm wondering, how much have you come to enjoy the adjustment game to game that you have to make when you're in the playoffs, against good teams with good coaches that you know?

LeBRON JAMES: I think that's the best part. That's the best part. I get so excited -- like right now, I'm excited about our meeting tomorrow watching film and breaking that down and seeing things that we can do better. Seeing things that we did do well. Thinking about the adjustments that they possibly or will do, because I know Spo going into Game 5. That's the best part about it. It's a chess match.

When you get to this point in your career, having your mind at a high level is so much more than the physical because we're all -- at this point, we're all great players. We're all here for a reason. We're in the Finals, Both conferences, anybody that is on the floor, they are on the floor for a reason.

To be able to think through the game and understand and see the adjustments and try to make plays before plays even seem like they are going to be possible, that's the best part for me personally.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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