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Toyota Center, Houston
NOVEMBER 12, 2012
GAME 8, 2012--13 NBA SEASON
MATT BULLARD, analyst, Comcast Sports Net Houston: I talked with Shane Battier before the game, and they'd gotten beat in Memphis the day before, and I asked him, "What was the deal last night?" He said, "The only thing that will stop us is if LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh don't have motivation to play hard. But if they have it, no one will beat us." I thought LeBron coasted through the first half in Houston. He didn't look like he was asserting himself. I said, "This is one of those games where he hasn't found any motivation."
LeBRON JAMES: We have a motto: Never lose two in a row. In the first half D-Wade was unbelievable, Chris was unbelievable, and I only had six points. I came out in the third quarter, Coach Spo ran a play for me, and I missed my first shot. Then they came right back to me and I made it. So I tried one from outside and knocked it down. Then Chris got an offensive rebound, kicked it to me, and I knocked down another. I was like, Let's see if this can be one of those nights. It's a zone. Everything you put up goes in, even if it's off-balance or a move you don't work on all the time. The ball just bounces for you. When you're not in a zone, you miss a wide-open layup, and you're like, What the... ?
CHANDLER PARSONS, Rockets forward: You take away one thing, he's going to hit you with another. You take away that, and he'll do something different. You can't really stop the guy. You've just got to try and take away what he does best and make it as difficult as possible.
BULLARD: I played for the Rockets with Hakeem Olajuwon. Teams would double him, throw three guys on him, and it didn't matter. That's what we saw from LeBron in the second half. No one matches him physically, and now no one matches him skill-wise. He hit three three-pointers, and on one of them he was three feet behind the line with two guys on him. He rose up and shot it so smooth, I thought, That's the Dream Shake right there. Then he had a play at the end where he drove by two guys, baseline, and laid it in. When you have the outside shot, when teams have to come out at you with everything they've got, it opens up the drive to the basket. He almost walked it in because his jump shot was such a weapon. He was shooting 47% from three-point range coming into the game. That's ungodly.
JAMES JONES, Heat guard: He has transformed from a kid who could barely shoot outside of 10 feet to a guy who can shoot from six feet behind the arc with a game on the line. To be a great shooter is to train as a great shooter, and the best way is to compete against me and Ray Allen and Mike Miller. We play different shooting games every day: best out of 10 or first to five in a row, sometimes step-backs and sometimes bank shots. He doesn't win very often, but he always competes.
PARSONS: I was talking to [Rockets assistant] J.B. Bickerstaff, and he was like, "I left the game and thought you did a really good job. And even watching the film, you did a good job. Nothing came easy to him, and then you look up and he has 38 points." It's frustrating. I would say I played well, but it's tough to be happy when the guy you're guarding has 38."