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."
|Borussia Dortmund on the brink as Real Madrid eye progress - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Hughton hopeful on video assistance after Brighton denied penalty|
|Klopp staying calm over Salah form|
|Irving leads Celtics to 16th straight win|
|He Said What?! The Best NFL quotes of week 11|
|They don´t have magic balls – Cook plays down Australia pace attack|
|Falcons hold off Seahawks|
|Griezmann: I don´t regret staying at Atletico|
|Rogers tells Paine to enjoy Ashes: It´s just a game!|
|Warner ready for first Ashes Test despite neck injury|
|Ashes newcomer Bancroft thought Test chance was gone - Voges|
|Warner suffers injury scare ahead of Ashes|
|Guardiola dismisses Champions League favourites tag|
|Jackson excited about Gordon´s return: I get to open a new toy|
|Nuggets head coach Malone suspended for one game|
|Steelers OT Gilbert handed four-game PED suspension|
|Prior hits back at ´ridiculous´ claims as Lyon hopes Australia end careers|
|Dolphins QB Cutler placed in concussion protocol|
|Navratilova leads tributes to ´amazing´ Novotna after her death at 49|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 2 Stoke City 2: Gross, Izquierdo extend home unbeaten run|
|Dimitrov braced for Australian Open expectations|
|Broncos fire offensive coordinator Mike McCoy|
|England won´t suffer Gabba ambush, Malan claims|
|Rose in contention to face Dortmund as Pochettino denies ´issue´ with defender|
|Benzema knows he can give more – Zidane|
|I´ve fulfilled my dreams already – Klopp has no plans to coach Barcelona|
|Memorable Ashes Moments: Unlikely saviour Agar falls agonisingly short|
|Wallabies coach Cheika faces investigation|
|The Ashes: Australia squad profiles|
|Aubameyang will face Tottenham, Bosz confirms|
|Klopp expects Matip to face Chelsea, Lallana return getting ´nearer´|
|Brown could return for England, Underhill out|
|Haye´s rematch with Bellew off due to bicep tear|
|The Ashes: England squad profiles|
|Gatland vows not to rise to New Zealand media barbs|
|Berizzo looking to former Red Aspas to provide lessons for Sevilla|
|Mangala ready to pounce, but realistic on Man City playing time|
|The Ashes: How the urn will be won - the case for Australia and England|
|Innovation key as WTA Media embraces evolving viewing habits|
|Trump calls for Lynch to be suspended as anthem row returns|
|Mendy injury means Aguero or Jesus for Guardiola|
|Kohli proud of India after almost snatching Kolkata win|
|The Ashes: Key contests in the battle for the urn|
|Guardiola sends ´big hug´ to ´amazing, so gentle´ Pulis|
|Tavecchio quits as head of FIGC, claims board have refused to resign|
|Benedetto facing Argentina World Cup KO with cruciate injury|
|Hansen hails All Blacks progress|
|Kohli´s record century precedes Bhuvneshwar heroics, but Sri Lanka cling on|
|Shape up! Heynckes reveals demand to Bayern star Vidal|
|Australia hope to open England ´scars´ in Brisbane|
|Smiling Broad sports bruise after golfing mishap|
|Ramos sits out Madrid trip to APOEL|
|West Brom sack Pulis after wretched run|
|Ball fighting fit ahead of Ashes opener at the Gabba|
|Murray should appoint Delgado as Lendl replacement - Henman|
|Former Wimbledon champion Novotna dies aged 49|
|Lloris wants Spurs to forget title and focus on top four|
|Pogba no Gerrard yet, says Benitez|
|Pearce released from Roosters contract|
|Expect to get six ducks – Paine reveals Rogers´ Ashes advice|
|Lyon: I don´t care if Stokes plays Ashes|
|Curry´s offensive explosion leads Warriors past Nets|
|Ball records second triple-double to join Magic, West in record books|
|Patriots, Ravens win among multiple blowouts|
|Flyers´ Gudas suspended for 10 games for violent slash|
|Two-time NBA All-Star David Lee announces retirement|
|Guardiola will ´kill´ City stars if they get complacent|
|Bills coach McDermott to ´evaluate´ quarterback position|
|LeBron on Kaepernick controversy: I don´t respect the NFL|
|Ibrahimovic: My injury was worse than people know|