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NBA FINALS: HEAT v THUNDER


June 19, 2012


LeBron James


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Game Four

Oklahoma City Thunder - 98
Miami Heat - 104


Q. ¬†There were so many moments this year when you were Westbrook having to score close to 40, those kind of games to carry your team.¬† How good did it feel tonight when you look at the boxscore, see 25 from Dwyane, 25 from Mario, Chris a rebound from a double‑double?¬† How satisfying is it for you to have a team victory in a game like this?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† It's a big‑time team win.¬† We needed everyone's effort, and everyone came up and made a play.¬† You know, from the starters to Rio's spectacular game, to Norris, as well.¬† We was down in that first quarter, Norris came in and gave us a spark, hit a couple threes, got into the lane, got a lay‑up and made some plays to kind of help us get into a rhythm.
You know, it's a big‑time team win, and we needed every point, we needed every rebound and everything that everyone had to get it.

Q.  Two things:  First, can you sort of update us on how you're feeling, how you're doing right now?
LeBRON JAMES:  I'm feeling a lot better.  I'm feeling good.  We'll see how I feel tomorrow, too.

Q.  Has it hit you that you're one win away at this point?  Can you afford to think about it in those terms, or can you not think about it in those terms?
LeBRON JAMES:  I mean, of course it's there to think about, but I'm not taking our preparation for Game 5 for granted.  We're going to prepare the same way we've been preparing all series, and if we play Miami Heat basketball, we give ourselves a good chance to win.

Q.  What did it feel like?  And have you ever experienced anything like that before?
LeBRON JAMES:  Yeah, yeah, I have.  What did it feel like?  I mean, I don't know.  I mean, you have to play sports and get a cramp before to understand the feeling.  It's basically like your body just shuts down, your legs shut down on you, there's nothing really you can do about it.

Q.¬† How do you block that pain out, I guess, for that three‑pointer there with under three minutes to go?
LeBRON JAMES:  I mean, the ball was swung to me, and the shot clock was going down.  I just wanted to step up and try to make a play.  You know, and I was able to drain that three and give us a lift.  I was just trying to make a play.  If I was out on the floor, I wanted to try to make a play with the limited mobility I had at that time, and I was happy I was able to come through.

Q.  Can you just talk about the resiliency of this team.  You've battled back from playoff deficits, you've not had Bosh.  Tonight the guys stepped up when you were out.  Just talk about that overall, and now you're one game away from a title.
LeBRON JAMES:¬† Well, for us we're a complete team.¬† A lot of people don't understand that about our team, and they always just focus on myself or D‑Wade and CB.¬† But everyone's effort, all the hard work everyone puts into it makes us a complete team.¬† We need that performance from everyone.¬† You know, we understand it, myself and D‑Wade and CB get a lot of the press, but without all the sacrifices and all the commitments from the other guys, we wouldn't be in this position.

Q.  How frustrating, first of all, was it for you to not be out there in the final minute of the game?
LeBRON JAMES:  It was very frustrating because I'm a competitor, and I want to be out there to help my team.  But like I said, it's a team game, and that's why we have those other guys out there that's going to make plays, even if I'm not available or someone else is not available.  That's what it's been for us all season and all Playoffs.  When someone goes down for any reason, guys step up.

Q.¬† I know you're a student of the game, you know the history of this game.¬† When I saw you come out there, it reminded me of Willis Reed stepping out for the Knicks more than 40 years ago.¬† Did you think you were in the middle of something special hitting that three‑pointer?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† I did want to come out.¬† Like I said, I sat on the bench, got rehydrated as much as I could while we had a long time‑out, and sat through a few plays and I was able to go back into the game.¬† Like I said, I'm happy I was able to make a play, make a big shot in a big game, and my teammates were able to close it from there.
Q.  Could you talk about Russell Westbrook's game tonight and what you expect from them when they face being closed out on Thursday.
LeBRON JAMES:  This is the second time we've seen a performance like that from a great point guard.  The first one was Rajon Rondo when he had that spectacular game against us.  I think that was Game 2, if I'm not mistaken, of last series.  I mean, so many great point guards in this league today, Rondo and Westbrook and Derrick Rose and Chris Paul, these guys can do wonderful things, and Westbrook gave it his all, shot the ball extremely well, and he came out from the gate.
I think they hit their first three or four shots.¬† He was in attack mode, and you get a couple lay‑ups, his jumper started falling.¬† He gave them an opportunity to win this game.¬† And at the same time it just shows that we can still win those games.¬† If someone has a spectacular game against us, we're still able to find a way to win.¬† But he had a hell of a game.¬† He had a big‑time game.

Q.  You're one home W away from a ring.  Do you start thinking about it?  Do you fathom this already?
LeBRON JAMES:  You know, tomorrow we're going to prepare for Game 5.  We've got to prepare like we've prepared all series and all season.  You know, Coach Spo and the coaching staff has given us a great game plan.  There's some things they can change, that we can correct.  Like I said, if we come out with the mindset that we've come out with during the Playoffs, we're going to give ourselves a good chance to win.  That's all we can ask for.

Q.  You were guarded by Thabo Sefolosha most of the time.  What do you think about this matchup and Sefolosha's defense?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† I think Sefolosha is a very active defender.¬† He's wiry, he's strong down in the post at times, but he has quick hands, he has long arms, so you can't play with the ball around him.¬† But I enjoy the match‑up.¬† I enjoy whoever they put on me, and I just try to thrive and make plays for our team.

Q.¬† Erik said basically at the end that he decided he couldn't play four‑on‑five at that stage because you couldn't give much more.¬† Did you fight him on that?¬† And when you had cramps before, what do you do between now and the next game?
LeBRON JAMES:  No, I didn't fight him.  I caught the cramps the one time, and tried to get some liquids in me, get rehydrated and went back in, and it happened again at that point.  I knew I probably wasn't going to be able to finish the game.
I didn't fight them.  I didn't fight anything at that point.  I just put the faith in my teammates, which I understand.  I've got a lot of faith in them, and I love them for the way they played tonight.
Between now and Game 5, just try to rehydrate.  I lost a lot tonight, but I will be ready.  I'll be ready for Game 5, and hopefully I can stay hydrated where it doesn't happen again.
Q.  You've talked about what you want to do to get back into the game after you got to the bench with your cramps, but what was going through your mind right when you hit the ground and then had to be carried off the court?
LeBRON JAMES:  Well, I knew I wasn't injured.  I just knew I had cramps.  I've had it before.  Your muscles basically just lock up on you, so I tried to walk, but they wasn't letting me move.  So our trainer, Jay, and Juwan came out and assisted me to the bench.  I wanted to walk to the bench, but my legs wouldn't allow me.
But I've been there before.  I've had cramps before, like I said, and it's not a pleasant feeling.  But I'm happy that we've got a great training staff, a great organization, and they helped me get back on my feet.  I was able to walk up here and talk to you guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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