DALLAS - The NBA Finals between Miami and Dallas are a best-of-three series now, and LeBron James is coming off the worst scoring night of his professional playoff career.
No better time than now for a turnaround, the Heat forward said.
"I think it's that time," James said. "I think it's that time that I try to get myself going individually."
Game 5 of the NBA Finals are tonight in Dallas, the Heat and Mavericks tied at two games apiece, and all eyes will see how James bounces back from a stunning Game 4 statline. He was held to eight pointson 3-for-11 shooting in Miami's 86-83 loss.
So far in the Finals, he has nine points in the fourth quarter. Dirk Nowitzki had 10 in the final quarter of Game 4 alone.
"I didn't play well, especially offensively. I know that," James said. "I've got to do a better job of helping this team win basketball games, especially late, no matter what it is."
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Miami will make adjustments to help James' offensive flow in Game 5. The Mavs may be providing James with some help as well.
On the eve of Game 5, Dallas' DeShawn Stevenson directed some sharp words toward James, saying he "checked out" in the final minutes of Game 4 Tuesday night.
After Dallas practiced yesterday, Stevenson was saying that Miami's players are still getting to know each other, that James wasn't himself in Game 4 and that the two-time MVP is "talented enough that he can use anything in the paper to kind of boost his ego."
James was unbothered, at least outwardly, by his latest give-and-take with Stevenson.
"DeShawn, he's been talking for a long time, since our Washington-Cleveland days," James said. "I don't let that get to us. Those guys are playing well. We're playing well. It's a three-game series. Talk is cheap. You have to play the game of basketball. Let the scores and the plays define the game."