LeBron James placed a desire for greatness behind an inspirational performance that led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a historic playoff comeback against the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.
The Cavs held a 2-0 lead in the first-round series before tip-off at Bankers Life Fieldhouse but had to fight back from a 25-point half-time deficit – a feat never previously achieved in the postseason – to secure a 119-114 victory.
James played the entire second half and finished with 41 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, but admitted he found it difficult to immediately take stock of his display and compare it to his other dominant playoff performances.
He said: "I can't even sit up here and say I can [compare]. One thing I do know is that we had a huge half-time deficit and were able to come back and win the game.
"I didn't know it was the biggest comeback or things of that nature. For myself, I just try to put myself in position to help my team-mates win no matter who's on the floor with me. Try to empower them, try to make them better, try to make them believe we can be great every night.
"I just don't settle for being not as great as I can be. It's not going to result in a stat line like this every night. When my mind is fresh and in the moment, sometimes certain things like this happen, so I don't know.
"I can't even really appreciate it. I'll let you guys write your words about it and go from there. Only thing that matters is a win, and that's what I'm here for."
The Cavs' comeback was even more remarkable for the face that Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving did not feature at all in the fourth quarter, with James praising the roles played by Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Deron Williams and Kyle Korver.
"This is why the team was built this way. Our depth has been challenged this year because of injuries, we haven't been able to get a full dosage of what we can become even with the guys on the floor," said James.
"But our bench definitely got the game ball tonight. Channing, Shump, D-Will, Kyle, those guys came in and gave us huge minutes."
Coach Tyronn Lue praised James after he moved past Kobe Bryant for third on the NBA's all-time playoff scoring list and confessed it was difficult to leave Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love out of the final period.
"LeBron willed us home, 41, 12 and 13, played the whole second half. That's what playoff basketball is all about. You got to be willing to sacrifice and lay it on the line to win a game, and that's what he did for us.
"Every decision you make in the playoffs is difficult. Looking at Kyrie and looking at Kevin, they were like: 'Let them go. They're playing well.'
"I had every intention to keep those guys in as long as they were playing well. Kevin and Kyrie didn't [protest]. That's what playoff basketball is all about. Guys step up and play well, and you just root those guys on.
"After the game they [Irving and Love] were happy and said: 'It's not about us, it's about the team.' Not a big deal at all, especially when you come out with the win."
|Alves free to join Man City after Juventus release|
|Defoe backs Sunderland revival in heartfelt farewell|
|Get a grip! Li Haotong´s mother makes unsuccessful bid to retrieve putter|
|Stop comparing men and women - Mouratoglou addresses McEnroe´s Serena comments|
|Galatasaray wrap up Gomis deal and confirm Belhanda talks|
|Tour de France: Froome, Cavendish and Sagan eye record-breaking 2017|
|Betis president denies Madrid Ceballos contact|
|Arsenal riches make Sanchez swoop hard for Bayern - Kahn|
|Experienced Lions can handle the pressure - Warburton|
|Mayweather-McGregor sponsorship price ´almost doubles´ that of Pacquiao fight|
|Ex-Man Utd star backs Mourinho to turn Old Trafford draws into wins|
|Tour de France: Quintana, Froome and the leading yellow jersey contenders|
|England striker Defoe completes return to Bournemouth|
|Hussain urges Root: Don´t be shackled by captaincy|
|Porte agrees BMC Racing extension|
|Priceless: Has Monaco star Kylian Mbappe sent a warning to Real Madrid and Arsenal?|
|Novak Djokovic trumps Donald Young at Aegon International|
|Moses seals golden-point win as Eels survive Bulldogs fightback|
|Sunderland turn to Grayson, as Short pledges to stay|
|Murray pulls out of second Hurlingham exhibition|
|West Ham desperate to sign strikers to supplement injury-prone Carroll - Gold|
|Bundesliga fixtures: Bayern´s one-two punch vs Dortmund & Leipzig and Champions League headache|
|Bundesliga fixtures: Borussia Dortmund face tricky dates with Bayern Munich|
|Unrepentant Warner says World Cup favours won´t stop|
|Bundesliga fixtures: Champions Bayern Munich start against Leverkusen|
|De Laurentiis expects Reina to stay|
|Hansen disappointed with media portrayal of Gatland|
|WATCH: Andy Murray interviews impersonator in hilarious video|
|Brilliant Balotelli and demolishing Brazil - Germany´s semi-finals under Low|
|Ball out of first England-South Africa Test|
|Second Test a game to get to a cup final - Gatland|
|Bayern Munich out of Alexis Sanchez race: You cannot pay €100m for older players|
|Shocking penalty shoot-out stat highlights Claudio Bravo´s Man City woe|
|Brazilian striker given 15-game ban for spitting at opponent|
|Griezmann vital to Atletico Madrid´s global ambitions – Garcia|
|Judge continues to star, Stroman leads Jays|
|Kalac: Totti would find it difficult in A-League|
|Mexico 1 Ghana 0: Hernandez sinks African visitors|
|De Boer: I binge-watched Netflix after Inter sacking|
|Ronaldo confirms birth of two children|
|Saul won´t be leaving Atletico as Cerezo confirms talks with Ibrahimovic´s family|
|Warburton to captain Lions as Sexton, Farrell named to start|
|Paul puts Rockets in ´weapons race´ with Warriors and NBA elite - Morey|
|Lions pair North, Henshaw to miss rest of tour|
|The symbol of Sweden – Ibrahimovic offers sneak peek of statue|
|Thomas takes shot at Miller ahead of Quicken Loans National|
|Portugal penalty flops are still heroes - Santos|
|Chapecoense to play Barcelona in Joan Gamper Trophy on August 7|
|Chile triumph down to Bravo penalty preparations - Pizzi|
|Chile penalty hero Bravo: I was injured!|
|Barba debut on hold after St Helens appeal fails|
|Slumping Yankees send Holliday to DL|
|Bravo the shootout hero as Sanchez, Ronaldo scrap fails to inspire|
|Froome hoping to agree extension by Grand Depart|
|Portugal 0 Chile 0 (aet, 0-3 pens): Bravo the hero in shoot-out victory|
|Paul confirms Rockets trade with heartfelt farewell to Clippers|
|Bolt disappointed despite Ostrava victory|
|Strycova routs Muguruza, Kerber grinds out victory|
|Djokovic into Eastbourne quarters as rain causes further backlog|
|Confederations Cup Diary: Mexico´s preparation glitches, howling in Kazan|
|FIA to further investigate Vettel-Hamilton clash|
|Manchester United striker Rashford snapped with ´king´ Ronaldinho|
|Boro flop Fischer completes Mainz move|
|Naholo and Lienert-Brown in for All Blacks as injuries force Hansen´s hand|
|Clippers send Chris Paul to Rockets to team up with James Harden - report|
|Karsdorp seals €19m Roma switch|
|DFB calls for WADA to take independent control of football drugs testing|
|Britton signs new Swansea deal|
|Liverpool target Keita wants move to Barcelona, Madrid or City|
|Joshua-Klitschko II could be heading for Las Vegas|