Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray claimed he wasn't fazed by three-time NBA champion LeBron James guarding him for over the last five minutes of Game 4 against the Lakers. Murray, who has been absolutely brilliant throughout the entire playoffs, had 28 points when James switched onto defending him as the 23-year-old was aiming to lead the Nuggets to a win.
But James showed his defensive brilliance as Murray scored only four points from the free throw in the game as the Lakers won 114-108 to take a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference Finals series. "When I see LeBron, I do the same stuff I do when I see [Alex] Caruso, and same stuff when I see [Rajon] Rondo and KCP (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) and Kawhi [Leonard] and PG (Paul George) and Pat [Beverley] and Royce [O'Neale]," Murray said, rattling off the defenders he has faced this postseason, per ESPN.
"I do the same thing. So I appreciate the respect, but we just got to win the game."
James was ready for the Murray challenge
James, who is determined to lead the Lakers to their first championship in 10 years, knew Murray was the biggest threat in crunch time so he took on the challenge of guarding him.
"I knew it was winning time, and Jamal had it going," James said of his decision to check him. "The kid is special. He has an array of shots. Triple threat from the 3, mid-range and also in the paint. For me, it's just trusting my defensive keys.
Trusting my study of film. Trusting personnel. And living with the results. "I told my teammates that I had him and everyone else can kind of stay at bay and stay home. I was able to get a couple stops and we were able to rebound the basketball, which is the most important thing."
James, 35, claims he gives it all when when he is on the floor. "I don't reserve any energy," James said. "I'm on the floor, I give it all I got. If I need a break, I ask for a break. Coach has done a good job of getting me out throughout the course of the game.
I don't look at it as a reserve tank. I've got pretty good energy when I'm on the floor all the time. "It's winning time and I don't have a chance or time to be feeling tired. I'm tired now. That's when I'm tired, when it's zeros on the clock. That's when I'm tired. I'm not tired during the game."