LeBron James responded to Lance Stephenson’s claims that he’s getting under LeBron’s skin by going off for 32 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in a 102-90 Game 4 victory. Stephenson, meanwhile, scored 9 points on 3-7 shooting with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. After the game, both King James and Born Ready commented on the situation, with LeBron saying that he “got a smirk” out of the whole thing.
Via Sports Illustrated:
Despite those contrasting performances, Stephenson stood by his statements, noting that foul trouble kept him from getting a rhythm until the fourth quarter, when the game was already decided.
“I have no regrets,” he said. “‘I was just trying to play ball. I guess [James] stepped up and got the win. I can take the heat.”
James, for his part, blew off the war of words.
“I don’t need any motivation, I’m motivated enough trying to get back to the Finals,” James said. “That’s motivating enough. Being one of the leaders of this team, I have to do my job and do my part to help us win. That’s what it’s all about. Do I find him comical? Nah, I got a smirk out of it.”
As James opted not to drag out the back-and-forth, players from both teams suggested that perhaps Stephenson should have kept his mouth shut.
Pacers forward Paul George was the most adamant in asserting that a little discretion was in order.
“Lance is young, that’s a teaching point,” George said. “That’s a learning lesson for him. Sometimes you have to just watch what you say. You’re on a big stage, everything we say is going to be bulletin board material. It’s really going to have a powerful meaning behind it. We have to be smarter with situations and voicing our opinions sometimes.
“When you make comments regarding trash talking and just being caught up between another player in a matchup, you’ve got to bring it. You’ve got to bring it. I’m pretty sure a lot of people were going to be tuned in to see what Lance was going to do because of what he said. Maybe there’s a lot of pressure on him, and everybody goes through situations where you just struggle. Just because of what was said and what was done, it just wasn’t a good time for him.”