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May 28, 2014

Paul George


Miami Heat - 90
Indiana Pacers - 93

Q. テつP.G., you put in work tonight, playboy.テつ Talk to us about how you were able to literally stay in a rhythm for 45 minutes.
PAUL GEORGE:テつ Excuse me if I'm a little shaken up.テつ I was in a cold tub.
I didn't start this game off hot.テつ Early on, I got into a rhythm for the first couple of possessions.テつ Really the first quarter, I felt good.テつ Second quarter, the ball didn't drop, but I knew we were facing elimination.テつ Coach told me green light.テつ Stay on green.テつ D. West kept telling me, "Don't keep no bullets in the chamber."テつ So I really just came out firing.テつ My teammates found me, and I got hot.

Q.テつ Paul, you made comments in the previous game about officiating.テつ Did that put pressure on you to perform in this game?テつ Did you somehow draw motivation from that, like you had to step up after those complaints?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ Yeah.テつ I like to just play.テつ Let us play.テつ It's the Conference Finals.テつ Let everything just be left on the floor.テつ I knew I was going to have to step to the plate.テつ My teammates needed me to make plays down the stretch, and I was fortunate enough to do so for us.

Q.テつ Paul, there was a possession there, just under two minutes left.テつ Dwyane had been defending you, and he told LeBron, "All right, you got him," and you pulled up and hit a three on LeBron, also.テつ Was it a point where it didn't matter who was defending you, specifically in the fourth quarter?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ No, you know, I felt in the rhythm, regardless of who was guarding me.テつ I think I seen every defender from the Heat tonight.
I was just in the zone.テつ Again, regardless of who was guarding me, I felt like that ball was going to go in that net, and that's a great, unbelievable feeling.

Q.テつ Paul, it seems like your offense has kind of come and gone in the course of this series.テつ Obviously, a variety of factors.テつ What do you think has been the difficulty for you just to try to keep it going the way you did tonight?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ It's always tough.テつ It's always tough night in and night out to guard the best player in this league.テつ It wears on you.テつ You're going to be inconsistent shooting the ball when you're shooting jumpers.テつ But tonight it went my way, and I was going to keep my foot on the gas.
I knew I couldn't let up because they were making plays on the other end as well.テつ My teammates was aware of it.テつ They kept feeding me the ball and looking for me on the offensive end.

Q.テつ Paul, what's your feeling and attitude knowing you've got to do this two more times?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ I mean, we're going against history, but we can't feel like it can't be done.テつ Every player in our locker room, every trainer, every coach, everybody in this organization have to feel like we can accomplish this.
And we believe.テつ We honestly believe we can accomplish this one.テつ It's going to be tough.テつ Like we say, it's one game at a time.テつ That's just how we've got to treat it.

Q.テつ Lance took a pretty good beating the last couple of days.テつ You basically said focus on basketball.テつ He said this morning that he was going to focus on basketball, and then he pulls out maybe every mental trick in the book tonight in this game.テつ What did you think of what he was doing out there?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ It's Lance being Lance.テつ He's been special for us, and whether he's scoring the ball, making plays, causing confrontation, you know, Lance is special, and there's a reason why we gain an edge and some opportunities during games.テつ A lot of it comes from Lance.
So we need that.テつ Again, he's always got to make sure he's monitoring it, but I didn't think nothing was out of the spirit of the game tonight.

Q.テつ Did you see him blowing in LeBron's ear?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ Yeah, I just saw it.テつ I just saw it. テつI hope his breath wasn't too bad for LeBron.

Q.テつ Paul, two things:テつ One, what was it like and what did it feel like to have LeBron James, of all people, pick up his fifth foul with almost nine minutes to go in the third quarter and spend half the evening on the bench?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ What was it like?テつ When he was in foul trouble, everybody had to be aggressive.テつ That's a huge weapon that they're missing.テつ Everybody was aware that he was on the bench and how limited this team was without him and how much everybody had to step up.
And they did.テつ They knocked down 15 threes.テつ I thought a lot of players took on a huge role.
But it's not going to be like that in Game 6.テつ We're expecting LeBron to be LeBron, and that's how we want it.

Q.テつ And on their final possession, again, when you see him barrelling toward the basket, no matter who's in the way, would you just as soon have him dish the ball off rather than go to the hoop?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ LeBron is the smartest player in this league.テつ He's going to make the right play, and he thought that was the right play.テつ They made 15 threes tonight.テつ So obviously, they were hot behind the three‑point line.テつ He found a three‑point shooter that's been hot lately for them in Chris Bosh.テつ We were fortunate he missed. テつWe walk away with a win.

Q.テつ Paul, the bench only had six points tonight.テつ You had 37.テつ LeBron had five fouls.テつ Not that your 37 wasn't something you're capable of, but there are a lot of things tonight that are kind of out of the normal flow of the game, especially with this series between these two teams.テつ So going to Miami on Friday, what do you expect out of the team as a whole from the bench, and what do you have to do to know that LeBron, as you said, is going to do what LeBron does?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ We're capable of winning the ballgame with LeBron scoring 30 to 40 points.テつ It's Rashard Lewis having six threes that we've got to be cautious of.テつ Ray contributing with 15 off the bench we've got to be cautious of.
It's some areas where we can hold up with LeBron having a spectacular game.テつ You know, again, it's containing the role players to make sure they don't have big nights.

Q.テつ P.G., this Pacer team is probably the most battle‑tested team left in the playoffs.テつ You guys have been at the brink of death multiple occasions.テつ How much confidence does coming back and winning this ballgame going into Game 6, does that memory of you guys playing as bad and as well as you have during the course of the playoffs to stay alive?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ We know, with our backs against the wall, we've proved that we can come out.テつ This is different.テつ This is definitely different.テつ We're playing against the champions.
So we're happy to get this win, have our season still be alive, but it's going to be tough.テつ It's going to be tough.テつ We're not expecting any of this to be easy, this whole trip.テつ We've got to do one possession at a time down in Miami, and we can't turn the ball over in this Game 6.
This Game 6 is going to be about performing like champions.

Q.テつ You had the three at the end of the third.テつ Defensively you were active.テつ You had six steals.テつ Was there a moment for you that it clicked that this is your night, you know, that you're obviously in that rhythm?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ Well, I was asked earlier today about having my print on this game, and I felt I needed to have a print on this game.テつ So that was always in the back of my mind is, how can I impact this game where we can continue to keep playing?
So that was it.テつ I knew I had to make some plays on the defensive end, getting steals, playing scrappy basketball, as well as trying to contribute on the offensive end.
Again, that was in the back of my mind the whole night is, how can I be an impactful player for us?

Q.テつ Paul, what's this year been like for you from an expectation standpoint?テつ It just seems like they grew a lot from last year to this year.テつ How do you think you've handled that?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ Well, this year, everybody‑‑ I'll go on last year.テつ Last year was me stepping up to the plate and rising to a new level.テつ This year was about how can I grow from that and expand to another level?
So it's just about rising to the occasion every night, you know, how can I‑‑ we've got a great team.テつ We've got a great group and a group that can very well move on to the championship.テつ So I just have to make sure every night just ask myself, did I leave everything on the floor?
Whether I'm making shots or not, whether I'm rebounding every ball, getting steals, deflections, I just ask myself, am I doing enough?テつ At the end of the day, more times than not, I feel like I'm giving my all.

Q.テつ Paul, you didn't guard LeBron all that much tonight, partly because he was on the bench in foul trouble, and also when he was in the game, you guarded Dwyane Wade instead.テつ Did that help you offensively?テつ Did that give you more in your legs because you didn't have to defend as much?
PAUL GEORGE:テつ No.テつ I mean, Dwyane was the one that was going.テつ Dwyane was the one that was taking all the load when LeBron was out, and I still was matching up with Dwyane.
It was just the flow of the game.テつ It was really just the flow of the game.テつ It wasn't no where we came together and me and Lance decided to guard different matchups.テつ It was just the flow of the game.
If LeBron was on one side of the floor, Lance was going to stay and guard whoever was on the side of that floor.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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