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June 13, 2006

Dwyane Wade


Q. So many things going against you, fatigue, injury, some calls didn't go your way; how do you overcome all that?
DWYANE WADE: Well, you know, that's one thing about this team is, you know, we're very strong-willed team. We all believe in each other. When we're down and out, you know, we always feel we can come back. We have done it plenty of times. But individually, just believing in God, believing that He will give me the strength to go out there and do it. That's the only thing.

Q. Talk about the stretch that you went through offensively in the fourth quarter?
DWYANE WADE: Well, just Coach was calling the plays to get the ball in my hand. At that moment, looking up at the score thinking, "No, I ain't going out like this." You know, we didn't want to go down 3-0, man. You just try to do what you can to help your team get over the hump. If you make some plays, it might energize some other guys. That's what I did. I was getting the ball so I was attacking. As I did, the other guys stepped up and made plays, also. This is a total team win, team comeback, and I think it's going to help us out for the next game.

Q. Maybe one of the big lessons for you personally from this game is that you have to play at the very, very best of your game for your team to have an opportunity to win a game in these Finals.
DWYANE WADE: No, I'm not going to say that. I would love to be at the top of my game every time we play, but you can't control that all the time. You know, this team, we've been doing it all year, whether I have a good game or whether Shaq has a good game, someone finds a way to step up. I'm not worried if I don't score or I don't play phenomenal, that we're going to win. As long as I'm on the court giving my teammates an opportunity to win, I think we can.

Q. It seems like the team in general and you in particular were more particular about taking the ball to the basket tonight; is that something that you talked about?
DWYANE WADE: Yeah, Shaq told us, don't settle for jumpshots, take the ball to the basket strong, especially if they are not coming off him. It's going to be just our man and the basket. I think our guys did a good job, Udonis did a good job, Antoine did a good job especially in the third quarter of attacking, something we haven't been doing. I think it was good for us tonight.

Q. Do you think your health made you more able to do that tonight?
DWYANE WADE: No question about it. I had legs to be able to, you know, no matter how many minutes I played, I had the legs at the end to be able to go down there and finish and make plays happen. I said going into this game that this is the best I was going to feel all series. You know, don't I sound better? My voice coming back, yeah. (Laughter) So I feel a little better.

Q. Talk a little about Gary's importance to the team in general and to you specifically?
DWYANE WADE: Well, you know, first of all, Gary not taking a shot all game, stepping up and hitting the game-winning shots shows what veteranism is all about. He stepped up. When he comes in, we're very confident defensively he's going to do a good job, you stick him on one, two, or three, he's going to get at the guys. We're really confident, he slows the pace down and doesn't turn the ball over too much. We have a good balance between J-Will's explosiveness and Gary settling down and making the right plays.

Q. The 3 that you hit in the corner to start the fourth, how much did that help you realize that you could get into a shooting rhythm and through the first three quarters, have you ever even seen you guys make so many mindless mistakes, one after the other after the other?
DWYANE WADE: Well, with the mistakes that we made, you can just live with those mistakes because you know that guys wanted it. That was the main thing. When you talk to guys, man, we wanted it bad. There comes times when you want it too much. We were making the mistakes that we normally don't. So I'm sure that will change. Now that we found a way to win, I'm sure that will change in Game 4 -- and what was the other one? Oh, the 3 from the corner, I've been itching to shoot that one for a while. I was itching, and we were down so I was like, what the hell. I was in my rhythm and I was open, and I got into a flow that way.

Q. What was going through your mind when you got that fifth foul?
DWYANE WADE: Don't get the next one. (Laughter) I just looked over at Coach right away, I was like, "don't take me out." I just hit the 3, so I wanted to see what I could do after that. I was just thinking, "don't get one more, don't get another one."

Q. How is your knee and what have they told you what you should do in the next 24 hours?
DWYANE WADE: Only thing I can do now is ice it, wake up in the morning, come in, get my therapy and see what happens. A lot of weight fell back on me with Shaq's big head, I think his head did it. A lot of weight fell back on my knee, but I'll be fine.

Q. Two things. Was the spacing any different in the fourth quarter that got you kind of angles towards the basket, and secondly, when Shaq goes to the line with, I don't know, a minute and whatever left, you're down five, having come back, what are you thinking?
DWYANE WADE: With the spacing I think we did a good job at the end noticing, as you see, me and Shaq was in a lot of pick-and-rolls so it kind of took Dampier out of the paint. I beat him and it was just me and the basket. That was something that me and Shaq kind of told Coach we wanted to do. That worked for us. What was the other question?
Oh, he went to the line. That's Shaq. He was in there working on it last night. You've got confidence in him. You know, he stepped up and cut it within three, made both of them. After he did that, man, you just seen the level of our team rise to another level after that. So you know, we feed off our big man no matter what it is, if it's a dunk, free throws, his charge that he took, whatever it is.

Q. We heard earlier this week that stat when you touch the ball 50 times --
DWYANE WADE: 50 times.

Q. 50 times in a game, you lose. When you hear that, how do you balance that in a game like tonight where you knew you had to be aggressive and you wanted the ball?
DWYANE WADE: Well, Coach just told me, I had to get it 49 times. Hopefully I did that tonight.
I don't know, I know I'm always trying to be aggressive, trying to do the right thing and sometimes it works for us and sometime it don't. We'll live with it. We'll see how many touches I had tonight through the game.

Q. Did the Mavericks seem overconfident at all to you when they got up 13 points? Dirk said that he didn't know whether they got celebratory or whatnot to lose that lead to you guys.
DWYANE WADE: I don't think so. This team is a pretty explosive offensive bunch. They did what they was doing all game. They kept taking shots and I think our defense rose to another level and made it a little tougher on them. I think that was the main thing. They did what they always do and that's take the shots that was there. They came out in the third quarter and hit 70 percent of their shots. Every time you turn around, it was like, oh my God, and then they finally missed them. Then we come and went down to the other end and we connected. That's what the game is about, they made their run and we made ours.

End of FastScripts...

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