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June 2, 2011

LeBron James

Dwyane Wade


Dallas Mavericks 95
Miami Heat 93

Q. Guys, Dwyane, when you hit the three to go up 15, LeBron, you kind of started the celebration right in front of the Mavs' bench, which turned into a kind of synchronized handshake in front of the Mavs' bench. Some of the Mavs players mentioned that may have been the turning tide. What were your thoughts on how that all went down?
LeBRON JAMES: It was no celebration at all. I was excited about the fact that he hit a big shot, and we went up 15. The same thing we've done over the course of the season. There was no celebration at all. We knew we had seven minutes to go still to close out the game.
As far as celebration, that word has been used with us all year. But we knew how much time was left in the game still.

Q. Dwyane, did you guys at all when you were up 15 exhale? How do you explain the way that last final minutes went there.
DWYANE WADE: Well, I mean, obviously they played very well. We pride ourselves on the defensive end, and they were able to break us down at the defensive end. And we made some mental mistakes. They got some open shots. We said in the huddle, we were up 15, that this team is very capable of coming back. They've proven it. They've shown it.
So we didn't have to score another point to win the game. Our defense was what we lay our heads on. We didn't play it the way we normally play. They deserved it. And we didn't.

Q. LeBron, you guys seemed to be pounding the ball a bunch at the end instead of running through the offense that got you to that point. Was there a sense sometimes that you felt you can run enough clock and it would end or did you get out of what had been working?
LeBRON JAMES: I think offensively we just weren't in a good rhythm. But it's not even -- offensively we've been out of rhythm before. At the end of the day, we hang our hats on our defense. I think they were 1-for-10 the first four or five minutes in the first part of the fourth quarter. It was 88-73; end up scoring 22 points in the last seven minutes. They only scored 24 in the whole fourth.
We're up 15. If they go on a 12-0 run for the rest of the game, if we don't score another basket, we still win by three. Defensively we just have to be more in tune and not allow a great team, a great offensive team to get as many great looks as they did down the stretch.
Jason Kidd had an open three. Jason Terry had a leak-out lay-up. He also had a corner jumper. Dirk 90/90 he hit a wide-open three. That's not our defense at all. We have to do a better job and be more in tune.

Q. At the risk of contradicting you, there was a celebration that was caught on camera, and a few of the Mavericks players said they saw it. It was after Dwyane Wade hit the big three. And while Kidd said he didn't see it, it didn't bother him, Chandler said it didn't, Jet said it did. So maybe we were thinking about different plays, but do you think when players say that motivated them, that's kind of nonsense? What's your take on them saying they were at least somewhat motivated by that celebration?
DWYANE WADE: First of all, every team in the league when they go on a run they do something. Whether it's a signal, whether it's a chest bump. It's a part of the game of basketball. A celebration is confetti, champagne bottles.
There was no celebration. It was a shot made going into a timeout. Every team does something. That's the game. If it pumped them up -- they won the game. Obviously it did something. That's not the first time. It won't be the last time that -- if we do a great play that we come and our teammates and we do something.
Don't make nothing out of that celebration, like you guys did in the Boston series. It's just being excited about the moment. It had nothing to do with the outcome of the game for us. Like you said, defensively we had breakdowns. They made great shots. They made a lot of shots. They're a great team. But we had a lot of breakdowns.

Q. Can you talk about the difference in your mindset from going up with a 2-0 lead, where they have to win four of the last five, to suddenly the series is even, they've regained home-court advantage, and you're going there for the next three?
LeBRON JAMES: It's a different mindset, of course. It's a ballgame now. With the series tied 1-1, we're looking forward to the challenge. It's going to be a difficult challenge for us but we're looking forward to it. We're a confident bunch. We play great on the road. It's going to be a hostile environment. Their fans and team are going to bring everything they have. We have to come out with it all. Play as close to 48 minutes as possible on both ends.

Q. Erik and Chris both said earlier that you guys have tasted this disappointment, this frustration before and have come back repeatedly this season. Can you guys sort of both address where the psyche is and the confidence level is considering that you guys have come back before?
DWYANE WADE: We had breakdowns before throughout this year. We learned from it. That's why we're the team we are. That's why we're in The Finals. Obviously this one hurts, and we got two days to think about our mistakes and blowing a 15-point lead. So we made it a lot harder on ourselves. We're going to see what we're made of as a team. Now we have three straight games on the road, but I wouldn't want to be in this position with any other team.
The things that we've done over the season, the habits that we've built, we're going to lay our hats on it, and we're going to go out there and we're going to, like we said, take each game as its own and get ready for Game 3.
LeBRON JAMES: Absolutely. We're a team that's confident. Every time we have had a pitfall, we've figured out how to bounce back. Right now we have another one. As a veteran ballclub and a team that's been through a lot, we understand how important this next one is with Game 3 being in Dallas and we look forward to the challenge.

Q. For two guys who pride yourselves on defense as much as you guys do, to lose in this particular way, does that get your competitive juices or affect you in a different way than another loss?
LeBRON JAMES: It's not going to affect us for Game 3. It hurts right now because it's right now. We're competitors. We want to win the game. We feel like we have a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter, that our defense will prevail. That's how much confidence we have in our defense.
It hurts now, but we'll be fine. I don't feel like our confidence will be down going into Game 3. We'll be back to square one and figure out how to win the game.

Q. On the other side of this, back in '06, you come back 13 down, six minutes to go. Do you worry now that you guys have let a team that was on the verge of being way out of this thing back into the series and maybe live to regret this?
DWYANE WADE: Well, only time will tell. Obviously you know, we gave them and they gave themselves life. We had opportunities to at least put a little doubt in their mind. They're a confident team. No matter what the outcome of this game, they were going to be confident. It's a different story when you're up 2-0.
You know what? I have been a part of it. I understand once you don't close a team down, they get confidence and life. Like I said, this is a big challenge for us. We're going to have to live up to the challenge, the hole we dug for ourselves, and we're going to see what we're made of as a team.

Q. LeBron, one last thing about the celebration thing: Do you think maybe it's a bigger issue because it happened right in front of their bench, in their personal kind of space, maybe that's why it's a bigger deal than just a normal celebration?
LeBRON JAMES: No, I don't think it's an issue.

Q. For three and a half quarters, what were you doing so well as a team? And are you able to take that moving forward to the next game? Do you think tomorrow you'll be able to put some perspective the last few minutes and say for three and a half quarters we had everything going our way, and we can build off that, as opposed to focusing on the last six minutes?
DWYANE WADE: Yeah. They had 73 points. You know, obviously we felt at certain points in the game where our defense wasn't as crisp as we wanted it to be. A team that scores the ball like this, I thought we were doing a good job. They had 73 points with 7:16, 15 whatever it was left in the ballgame. We put ourselves in a great position.
Offensively I thought we did a great job of getting turnovers and rebounding and getting out in transition and getting easy baskets. That's how we were able to get the lead. Most importantly the reason we had that was because of our defense and the reason we lost the game is because of our defense.

Q. Dwyane, just wanted to get your thoughts on Mike Bibby. When you get a performance from a role player like that, isn't it something where you normally expect to be in contention and win games like that? Just the early shots he was able to hit for you.
DWYANE WADE: Mike, he shot the ball well tonight. That's the Mike Bibby that we love to see. Just shooting it with confidence. It really was big in us coming back, getting the opportunity, getting his hands on a lot of loose balls where we were able to get out in transition.
We want him to continue to shoot with that confidence. He's going to get shots. Obviously this team wants to protect the paint. Want to make sure myself and LeBron, we don't get in the paint. Our shooters are going to get shots. If we can get that production out of Mike Bibby for the rest of the series, we'll be in pretty good shape.

Q. Dwyane and LeBron, both of you, a lot was made of Dirk and his left hand during the week. He finished two of the last three baskets at the rim with his left hand. Can you comment on his ability to go to his off hand when he was hurt at the end of the game when it mattered most?
LeBRON JAMES: We were asked about it after Game 1, I said it would be a non-issue. He's a great scorer. He understands he can use both hands. He got the left-hand lay-up to tie the game up at 90, and then the game-winner going left once again.
So as you can tell, it has no effect on his left hand at all, if any.

Q. Before Dirk's game-winner, did you guys talk about using that foul to give?
DWYANE WADE: We knew coming out we had a foul to give. We knew we didn't have no time-outs. It was a mental breakdown on us. We'll take it. We all said in the huddle, our coaches said it. Sometimes when you're in the moment -- Dirk made a great move to get a little step on Chris. Obviously if we can go back and do it, we would have grabbed him before he could get up. But we didn't do that. We did know about it. Just a mental breakdown.

Q. LeBron, it seemed like the Mavs were trapping you pretty hard coming off screens there at the end of the fourth quarter. Was that differently than they played you the rest of the game? And if not, what exactly bogged down your offense?
LeBRON JAMES: They did. They did a great job of playing two on the ball. They used Tyson Chandler to come off pick-and-rolls, Tyson Chandler or Dirk. They blitzed me and D-Wade's pick-and-roll. Something different. Something we can go to the film to figure out how to exploit that or do a better job of executing later in the game. They didn't do that till the fourth quarter. They picked up the aggression and it got us out of the flow of the offense where we were taking shots at the end of the shot clock. I know I took a few fadeaway threes at the end of the shot clock because we couldn't get into our offense. It's something we'll work on and be better on in Game 3.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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