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Potent Quotables - Cavaliers 106 - Hawks 101; LBJ Birthday Edition

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HEAD COACH MIKE BROWN

(On tonight's game): "Our guys did a terrific job led by LeBron and Andy, to will this win. Those two guys, their will was unbelievable. They led us in that area and the rest of the team followed. That was the difference in the ballgame. Atlanta knocked down a lot of shots while we were flat. We weren't aggressive and we didn't get after the 50/50 balls. That changed in the third and fourth quarters. I thought our ability to come up with those long rebounds and 50/50 balls was the difference in the game. When you have that from your guys, that's very exciting. That's high level basketball when you do that and our guys were able to do that tonight."

(On LeBron tonight): LeBron's will to drive whoever was in front of him to the rim, no matter if he got hit or didn't get hit, no matter if there was a call or not, that was big for us. I ran him for almost 48 minutes and not only that, I put the ball in his hands a lot. Every time he came to the bench, you could see it in his eyes, you could see it in his body and you could hear it in his words. He was saying the right things to the group and the guys were saying the right things to each other."

(On Anderson Varejao tonight): "Anderson's will on the defensive end of the floor was off the charts. He was extremely physical and he did it the right way."

(On turning the game around): "The guys in that lockerroom, their determination was off the charts. It was that collective effort that kept us going, focused and aggressive. When you have that, as a coach you don't have to say much. That's a big, big step for us."

(On Daniel Gibson tonight): "Boobie is a guy that should play a lot of minutes...He's a terrific guy, but he's a pro. He keeps himself ready and when he came out on the floor, it was a big shot he made, which we needed. More important than that, he made some huge, huge defensive plays. They may not show in the stat sheet, but they were huge for us keeping that momentum."


LEBRON JAMES

(On grinding out a tough ball game): "That is what it is all about. It was a tough game last night in Atlanta. The level of energy just was not there to start the game, but our guys just have the will to win games and know that the games not over until there are zero's on the clock in the fourth quarter. It was a big gut win for us, especially against a really talented team."

(On Andy's three-point shot with 17 seconds remaining): "That was the one that broke their back... There were probably nine lead changes in the last four or five minutes so with the game tied for Andy to hit that shot, I think that was just the one that just finally put it to bed."

(On Andy's shot being a birthday gift): "That was a great gift. I had Andy in the gift exchange and he paid me back so that is what friends are for."

(On the team's play the past couple of weeks): "Tonight was one of those games where we know we didn't play our A+ game. The way we have been playing kind of solidified tonight's win. Just staying in and staying with it and just saying' hey, we are not losing this ballgame' and that is huge for a team like ourselves. We have a lot of confidence in ourselves. We have a lot of confidence in our ability and we went out and did it."

(On finally getting a win on his birthday): "It feels good. You go out there and you play as hard as you can. I can't ask for any better birthday gift than what my teammates gave me."


SHAQUILLE O'NEAL

(On the Cavs' comeback effort tonight): "It was a well-fought game. What I've always said about this team is that there is no panic in us...we show a lot of resiliency. Coach went with the small lineup and Andy did a great job of meeting a couple guys at the rim and contesting at the rim. LeBron had a fantastic game. This is what we do, we are going to fight all year. All of our wins aren't going to be pretty, but if we continue to work hard and fight like that then the outcome will always be like this."

(On when he thought the Cavs would be playing as well as they are now): "We had our struggles early, but we just kept fighting, kept practicing and kept working. The good thing about this team is that it is a very unselfish team. We talk to each other and have conversations and discussions, but it's all in respect of the game."


ANDERSON VAREJAO

(On hitting his late three-pointer): "There was one second. All I could do is shoot the ball and I'm glad it went in."

(On if he was the primary option on that play): "(Laughs) No, I wasn't the primary option...I just tried to space out and make myself available. He passed me the ball and I shot. That was it."

(On how it felt to make his first three-pointer): "Great...and the timing was good, too. It was a tough game for us tonight. We won last night in Atlanta, and they came in here tonight with their minds set to win the game. They played really hard, they played really good, but we kept ourselves in the game. We kept playing hard and we found a way to win."

(On erasing a 17-point deficit): "We just kept fighting and playing hard, and we knew we had to do something different to change the game. I believe at one point they went up 17 points and we kept fighting and kept playing hard. We knew we had to do that. The fourth quarter was very good. We had great defense and we made big shots at the end of the game and that's why we won."