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."
|There was no player better than De Bruyne - Guardiola backs City man for PFA award|
|Top managers should want Arsenal job, says Moyes|
|Manchester City boss Guardiola aiming to smash records following title triumph|
|Las Palmas relegated from LaLiga after 4-0 home defeat to Alaves|
|Archer and Gowtham combine for dramatic Royals victory|
|This won´t happen forever - dominant Nadal reflects on latest success|
|Andrew Bogut returns to Australia, signs with Sydney Kings|
|Manchester City break Premier League passing and possession records|
|Conte: Morata still important despite Giroud impact|
|Inter gave up against Chievo, admits Spalletti|
|Conte denies Mourinho rift ahead of FA Cup final|
|Levy claims fifth European Tour crown in Rabat|
|Diouf miss ´a turning point´ for both Stoke and Burnley|
|Hughes upset with lack of VAR after Southampton´s FA Cup loss|
|Manchester City 5 Swansea City 0: Guardiola´s champions turn on the style|
|Manchester United are FA Cup favourites, claims Chelsea boss Conte|
|United States and Czech Republic reach Fed Cup final|
|Rapid start sees Racing through to Champions Cup final|
|Benevento relegated after late Crotone winner|
|Jungels roars to Liege-Bastogne-Liege victory|
|I don´t need to die anymore - Wenger reflects on Arsenal ´funeral´|
|Hazard gives Conte a dazzling reminder of better days|
|Playing at Wembley is like playing in my garden - Giroud|
|Sevilla president casts doubt on future of Montella|
|´Hurtful´ fans damaged Arsenal´s image, Wenger claims|
|Chelsea 2 Southampton 0: Giroud and Morata book FA Cup final spot|
|Super Kings survive late onslaught to overshadow Sunrisers|
|Struggling Stoke have to win at Liverpool, concedes Butland|
|Did Wenger jump or was he pushed? – Arsenal boss proves evasive|
|Ramsey: Arsenal owe Wenger the perfect finale|
|Nadal sees off Nishikori to reign in Monte Carlo once again|
|Fit-again Mendy on the bench for Manchester City|
|Chievo 1 Inter 2: Icardi grateful to VAR as Nerazzurri remain in top-four hunt|
|Knights playmaker Pearce set for long absence|
|Arsenal 4 West Ham 1: Wenger´s long farewell begins in style|
|Stoke City 1 Burnley 1: Potters pegged back again as relegation nears|
|N´Zonzi apologises for partying after Sevilla´s Copa humiliation|
|Khan chasing Brook, not world titles, after spectacular comeback|
|Kaizer Chiefs ´worried about safety of players´ as coach quits after rioting|
|Elneny injury sparks World Cup fear|
|Arsenal aiming to give Wenger the perfect send off - Mertesacker|
|Chelsea v Southampton: Giroud wins Wembley nod over Morata|
|Don´t go to China, come to Betis! - Setien lauds Barcelona legend Iniesta|
|Argentina midfielder Biglia suffers ´severe´ back injury in Milan defeat|
|Departing Wenger hints at end-of-season reveal amid reports of sacking|
|Farah sets new British record as Kipchoge wins London Marathon|
|Neymar walking without crutches|
|Ozil ill, Aubameyang benched as Arsenal target momentum ahead of Atletico|
|I make the decisions - Sweden coach wants Ibrahimovic talks on World Cup|
|Investment not necessary for United to challenge City – Lukaku|
|So close, but so far away – Vorm laments another Spurs failure|
|Melbourne Victory 2 Adelaide United 1: Berisha stunner seals last-four spot|
|Sharks upset Panthers as Eels finally get off the mark|
|Lopes: A return to Man City? My present is Monaco but the future belongs to God|
|Jaguares catch out Brumbies in Canberra|
|Montella urges Sevilla to use Copa setback as motivation|
|Zheng topples Wang in Zhengzhou final|
|Rakitic desperate for Iniesta stay|
|Jardim one of the best in the world – Lopes praises Monaco boss amid interest|
|Napoli refusing to give up on Scudetto dream|
|It´s a good time for Iniesta to leave Barca, says father|
|Athletics´ Manaea no-hits Red Sox, Darvish struggles once again|
|Pelicans reach second round, 76ers take 3-1 lead and T-Wolves down Rockets|
|MLS Review: Five-star LAFC, Dynamo headline goal frenzy as Atlanta silence Ibra´s Galaxy|
|Busch pulls away to claim third successive NASCAR win|
|Sanchez hails legendary Wenger ahead of Arsenal exit|
|Valverde: Nothing behind Iniesta substitution amid growing CSL links|
|White Sox´s Farquhar in critical condition after brain haemorrhage|
|Cubs place Ben Zobrist on 10-day DL|
|Hoffenheim boss Nagelsmann dismisses Arsenal and Chelsea links|