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June 10, 2007

LeBron James


Q. These first two games, unlike Detroit, you had a chance to win with the ball pretty much on the final possession. You came away fairly confident going back home. These two games you were down 18 yesterday and 29 -- or two days ago, 18 and then 30. What do you take from these first two games going back to Cleveland? How different is the feeling?
LEBRON JAMES: We're definitely still confident. It doesn't matter if you lose by 1 or lose by 30 with us. A loss is a loss, and we've been down 2-0 before in this situation, so we have to find a way to bring the intensity that we did in the fourth quarter tonight and carry it on to Game 3.

Q. Why do you think the intensity doesn't come for this team until the fourth quarter? You dig yourselves a big hole but in the fourth quarter it's there.
LEBRON JAMES: I don't know, I think the fourth quarter we just realize that it's a pride thing then, and we don't want to get blown out. We're here for a reason, and it becomes a pride thing in the fourth quarter when you're down so many points.

Q. Is it an upgrade in competition going from Detroit to San Antonio, and if so, how large?
LEBRON JAMES: I think it's just an upgrade from series to series, you know, from the first round to the second round, Conference Finals, and then to The Finals it's an upgrade. It doesn't matter who it is, the intensity level automatically picks up. The team is better. It doesn't matter if it's Detroit or the Spurs. Every round gets a little harder.

Q. Do you feel like the competition, though, is -- just in terms of the ability of the opponent, do you feel -- is it a big difference?
LEBRON JAMES: I think the intensity is a big difference. Like I said, I don't -- you give the Spurs a lot of credit, but everyone knows that each round picks up, and the team picks up. You get better after you win one series. You get better when you win the Conference Finals and get to The Finals. You get better as a team, and the intensity definitely picks up.

Q. What was it like for you having to sit and watch so much of the first quarter and then obviously you came out a little bit colder?
LEBRON JAMES: It's not a good thing for me. I can't remember the last time I didn't play 40-plus minutes. I got two quick fouls and it definitely didn't work in our team's favor. I wanted to be out there to try to help my team win, and being in early foul trouble definitely hurt us.

Q. Coach Brown was pretty critical of the team's effort in the first two-thirds of the game. What do you think the team's effort was and how do you fix it?
LEBRON JAMES: We can play better. We can play harder. It shows, the difference the first three quarters or the first half compared to the second half. At one point we were shooting 57 percent from the field, and that hasn't been us. We have to find a way to pick up our intensity and carry on what happened in the fourth quarter into the rest of the game.

Q. You've seen Tony Parker for a couple of games. You were guarding him tonight. Do you have any sense of what you guys can do to keep him out of the paint?
LEBRON JAMES: I don't know (laughing) you know, he's very good, probably the second best point guard we've played in this postseason. Jason Kidd is one, I think Tony Parker is two. No matter what you do he's going to find a way to get into the paint. He can finish over big guys, finish over small guys. They have a great one in Tony Parker for sure.

Q. Is going zone a possible remedy to this?
LEBRON JAMES: No, that's kind of a cop-out. We don't want to go zone. We're a man team, we have to man up and try to keep him out of the paint. We have to make our best effort. We made him take a lot of jump shots tonight, which he made. He made a three. I think when he's shooting the ball as well as he did tonight there's no way you can stop him.

Q. The big three for the Spurs, they are the big three, but can you talk about Robert Horry and the veteran presence? I mean, he just did so many things tonight to kind of get this victory for him?
LEBRON JAMES: He definitely did a great job defensive, came up with a lot of blocked shots, rebounded the ball extremely well on the offensive and defensive rebound. He's been here before, and it's nothing new to him. It doesn't matter if he's out there for five minutes or for 25 minutes, he's definitely going to give his best effort, and he was definitely a spark off the bench.

Q. Can you talk about or explain to people that aren't from Cleveland how big it will be to have this game there on Tuesday, and just to be a part of that history?
LEBRON JAMES: It's definitely going to be a great experience I think for all Cleveland fans, for northeast Ohio, for the whole state of Ohio. It's going to be something that hasn't been experienced in a long, long time for our city, for our fans. It's going to be electrifying. If you're not there, I expect you to try to get there.

Q. What are you telling people that are asking you for tickets right now?
LEBRON JAMES: No (laughter).

Q. It seems like after every game we're talking about Daniel Gibson, another big game tonight. You seem even a little looser on the court when he's out there. Can you address that?
LEBRON JAMES: I just think he understands how to play the game of basketball, and he knows that he's going to get some great looks, but he knows if the guys run him off the three-point line, he knows how to finish in the lane. He's getting better every game, every series, and it's great to see him grow and watch him continue to grow. I think he's definitely one of the best players on our team.

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