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NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: PACERS v HEAT


May 30, 2013


LeBron James


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Game Five

Indiana Pacers79
Miami Heat90


Q.  LeBron, sort of one question in two parts:  Can you sort of take us through the Juwan throwing and yelling various things at halftime and what you reiterated before the third quarter?  Just what that third quarter felt like for you, even though you've been in that moment so many times.
LeBRON JAMES:¬† Juwan's voice in our locker room on the floor is as big as anyone.¬† As big as Spo, as big as mine, UD, D‑Wade.¬† That's why we brought him back because he's an instrumental part of our team.
He got us on at halftime, letting us know how we weren't connected as a team, we weren't playing as a team.  We were wasting an opportunity.
At the beginning of the third, I just tried to reiterate that in my own words, and get on the guys and just let them know we can't just win with talent.  We are playing a great team.  Luckily we were only down four at halftime, at the half.  We had to play with a little more sense of urgency, well, a lot more sense of urgency in the second half, if we wanted to win that game.

Q.  LeBron, in the third quarter there did it reach a point where you sort of realized, for whatever reason, it wasn't going to be Dwyane's game, it wasn't going to be Chris's game, maybe instead of equal opportunity, that's just when you had to go and make it your game?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† Yeah, I kind of just went back to my Cleveland days at that point and just said, hey, let's try to make more plays and be more of a scoring threat as well, and just try to figure out a way that I can‑‑ I don't know, just see if the guys would just follow me, and just lead them the best way I could.
I was just in attack mode in the third quarter, look for my shot.  And luckily I was able to make some.

Q.  LeBron, Dwyane Wade said after the game that you were perhaps the most vocal maybe since you've been here to rally the troops.  He even punched his fists towards his hand to say how you were.  Is that an accurate characterization?
LeBRON JAMES:¬† Well, I mean D‑Wade is not a liar, so...¬† If he said it, it happened.¬† I have a big voice in our locker room.¬† I have a big voice on this team.¬† I sensed what was going on with our team, you know, in the first half.¬† And before we took the floor in the third quarter, I just gave them a little piece of my mind and a piece of my voice, and we was able to respond.

Q.  It seemed like you had a little extra edge out there with Lance Stephenson tonight.
LeBRON JAMES:  Yeah.  As a competitor you love challenges, and Lance is one of those guys who likes to talk some.  And I'm for it, too.  I really don't start it, but if it gets started, then I love to do it.  It's cool.
I think it's great.  It shows a competitive spirit between two individuals, between two teams to go out there and just try to figure out ways to help their team win.
But I'm all for it if it's there.

Q.  LeBron, you and Udonis both mentioned you guys only had 40 points in the first half.  What went on in the first half that you guys were so upset with and knew you needed to change?
LeBRON JAMES:  We just had no sense of urgency.  We were just waiting for the game to change instead of going to get it.  Instead of going to make plays and make things happen and make changes, we were waiting for things to happen.
We made a great run to actually tie it at 40‑40, but they went on on a 4‑0 run to end the half.¬† There was a few plays in the first half that were just like, didn't make any sense to us.¬† Didn't make any sense to me and to some of the guys, like a couple of plays we know we're capable of making that we just wasn't making.¬† And it had nothing to do with X's and O's.¬† It was about a sense of urgency.¬† I think we all sensed that, we all felt that.¬† I am glad we were able to turn it around.

Q.¬† The last couple of games in particular Mario has been going to the rim pretty consistently and finding creases, getting lay‑ups and stuff like that.¬† Have you had a conversation with him about that?¬† Or anybody?¬† It seems he has been as aggressive as we've seen him all year.
LeBRON JAMES:¬† Yeah, I have.¬† I talked to him before the game today.¬† I talked to him after shoot‑around this morning.¬† Letting him know where he can be aggressive, where he can make plays not only for himself but for our teammates in certain situations.¬† Most of his possessions are coming off 1‑3 pick‑and‑roll with me and him.¬† I just tell him just to use me.¬† My man is sometimes kind of in between of trying to help on the point guard and not help as much off of me.¬† So that gives Rio a lot of creases.
Rio has done a great job of using me as a screen or to get in the paint, either make plays for himself or for teammates.

Q.  LeBron, you said you went back to your Cleveland days.  What made you think and know that that was the right move for tonight and that your team needed that from you?
LeBRON JAMES:  I just seen how we were playing in the first half.  Like I said, we were in wait mode in the first half instead of going and getting it.  Just waiting for things to happen.  I took it upon myself to stop waiting and just go.  Just try to figure out a way to go and get it.  I don't know, I just stepped outside the box a little bit and UD was amazing.  I mean with his ability to shoot the ball as well and finish around the rim.
As one of the leaders on the team, I just tried to do whatever it takes to try help those guys to try to follow me and lead them to the right place.

Q.  Your flurry of jumpshots at the end of the third quarter came after Udonis's confrontation with David West.  Any coincidence with that or did that stir something inside of you that was waiting to come out?
LeBRON JAMES:  No, I don't think so.  I think UD is, like I said, he's our heartbeat.  Any time there's a confrontation, if he's on the floor, he goes to protect.
We're not going to let anybody talk down on our point guard.¬† He's one of the smallest guys on our team.¬† UD was there to protect him.¬† I was just trying to take advantage of what I seen after that point.¬† I don't think the confrontation had anything to do with it.¬† I think the emotions of being in a Game 5 with the series tied 2‑2 on our home floor and being able to make plays had everything.¬† That's where the emotion came from.¬† I'm blessed I was able to make a few plays.

Q.  You've been here a few times, obviously, but does the realization set in yet that you're one win away from getting back to The Finals?
LeBRON JAMES:  That's what I came here for.  That's what I came here for, is to be able to compete for a championship each and every year.  We are one step away from doing it once again.
But it's not a promise.  It's not promised at all.  I made a tough decision, obviously.  I think we all know the story.  I'm not going to harp on that.  I envisioned something that was bigger as far as a team.  Sacrificed a lot for me individually, what I had going on in the summer of 2010 because I wanted to do something special with a team.  And we got an opportunity as a team once again for the third year straight to make a trip to the NBA Finals.  But we have to try to go out on the road in a hostile environment and take it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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