CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James turns over every stone within the rules of the sport to ready himself for games, especially in the postseason.
And with the Cavaliers facing elimination after the Golden State Warriors fought their way to a 118-113 victory in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland Wednesday night, James is committed to extending the season as long as possible.
“I've been around the clock getting my body ready, getting my mind ready once again,” James said after Thursday’s practice at Quicken Loans Arena. “Is it an advantage? I don't know if it's an advantage, after this series, after this postseason, after how many minutes and games I played in, but I'll be ready to go once the game gets here.”
The Cavaliers did not score a point over the final three-plus minutes of Game 3, and a late spurt from small forward Kevin Durant gave the Warriors the win.
As the clock ticked under a minute, Warriors small forward Kevin Durant secured a defensive rebound and dribbled the ball over to the left wing, where he pulled up and knocked down a 26-foot three-pointer, which gave Golden State a 114-113 lead over the Cavaliers.
Then, Durant and point guard Stephen Curry closed out the game with two free throws each.
“I feel like if we come in with the same energy, same effort, physicality, as we did in Game 3, we give ourselves a good chance to win,” James said. “Now, does that result in a win? It's to see because we played well in Game 3, and they were able to get that one as well.
“It was just about us playing the same way, being a little bit better down the stretch, obviously. We had some pretty good looks that just didn't go down, and they had some looks that went down for them. So obviously, we know it's a big challenge, but we look forward to the matchup again.”
As such, James is not only undergoing treatment on his body, but also, going through his routine to prepare mentally for the chance to deny the Warriors the opportunity to become the first team in NBA history to run through the postseason with a 16-0 record.
“My mindset is to try to get every game,” James said. “Tomorrow's another important opportunity for us and for myself, obviously, to continue the series. It's been a long season, and you hate for it to end this way, so mentally and physically, I've got to prepare myself for that.”